Sunday, June 10, 2007

Brett Dennen

I’ve reached a significant conclusion in my life. I need to quit my day job. What made me realize that was that even though Bret Dennen’s album So Much More was released in late 2006, I am just now getting around to listening to it as he is releasing his follow up EP More So Much More. So my creditors are just going to have to understand I have to spend more time listening to music. The album is lyrically poetic and spiritually reflective. Musically, Dennen is soulful in way very similar to Martin Sexton. The mood of the album balances his personal and political pessimism with a refreshing hopefulness. Sometimes it is almost as if Dennen sees opportunity in his struggles as he muses in the title cut, “I’d rather be stuck up in a tree than tied to it.”

The album also has a couple of unusual songs, “Darlin’ Do Not Fear” and “When You Feel It,” which have backbeats with a Caribbean Island music influence to them. In particular, “When You Feel It” has a resophonic guitar in the background as Dennen sings about his “Creole girl.” The hopefulness of the album is shown best as it exits with “Someday.” The keyboards on the song have a gospel feel as Dennen affirms “Someday in a cloud of gray I will make my great escape. My salvation is ahead of me. I can feel it calling me. I know that I will be redeemed.” Let’s hope we can all exit that way. Also feel free to send any donations you would like to make to the “Let Chip Quit His Day Job Fund.”
This review also appeared on: http://twangville.com

2 comments:

Joanne Light said...

Brett Dennan's CD makes me want to paint again. His melodies are memorable, positive and musically mature; his playing is impeccable; he has all the chops and pulls out all the stops with his Chapmanesque voice. Who doesn't love Tracy Chapman's voice? Ditto for Brett Dennan. It's been said that once you hear it you'll never forget it--a rare birdsong not often experienced. I heard all the songs on the CD when Brett was playing the Calgary Folk Festival last week and have been playing the CD for everyone I see in the Maritimes because it restores my faith in songwriting, in artistry and in humanity. The sentiments are wise, honest and pure. His intellect paints the picture that touches the heart and opens it to fly again. His songs are musical poems like Dylan's, Cohen's, Simon's, Mitchell's. He uses all the poetic devices--metaphor, internal rhyme, alliteration, simile--with not a cliche to be found. Like Dylan, Dennan doesn't include his lyrics in the CD so I haven't caught every line but, so far, everything is, as has been said, understated, or just stated in the most original way. I truly believe and I think Simon would agree that the torch of Simon's muse has been passed to the hand of Brett Dennan where he's warmly holding it--alive, well...and expanded.

Fitz said...

I will make a donation to the "Chip quit his day job" as long as he promises not to start modeling underwear or any job that requires quality vision.