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Album Review

Mando Saenz has a bevy of musicians around him, perhaps because a good portion of the material that he brings to this record is so inviting and strong, roots-saturated and with ample heaps of Americana sprinkled throughout. Bucket opens with the light, folksy "Wrong Guy," bringing to mind a cross between an acoustic version of Gin Blossoms mixed with the BoDeans. Meanwhile, the singer/songwriter revs things up with punchy power pop oozing out of "Pocket of Red," which has a few Keith Richards-like riffs. Saenz's strong pop sensibilities — in the vein of Tim Finn — are readily apparent during the midtempo, melancholic "A Touch Is All," which shifts gears for verse two. That isn't to say that everything comes up smelling like roses, as "Seven Dollars" is good but sounds a bit like Saenz is going through the motions rather safely. However, perhaps the song is a "grower" after a few listens. What is quickly deemed to be a keeper is the solid, tender roots pop propelling "In the Back of Your Mind," which could be mistaken for a cover of a Ryan Adams gem. The same can be said for "All Grown Up" and its lovely duet with Kim Richey. The closing one-two combination of "Candy Red," with its precious alt-country foundation, and the alluring "Last Goodbye" makes this album flow with ease.


Born: San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Mando Saenz was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, but grew up in Corpus Christi, TX. The son of music-loving parents who encouraged their son to play, the singer was reared on a myriad of styles ranging from singer/songwriters to the Everly Brothers to traditional Mexican. Taking guitar lessons when he was in his pre-teens, Saenz did not see music as a career but instead looked upon it as a hobby. When he entered Texas Tech University, the singer began to open up more and began thinking about a possible...
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Bucket, Mando Saenz
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