Friday, November 21, 2014

Bryan Hawn-A Decade Of Music (2011)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: November 21, 2014

Four-hundred and twenty-five.....and counting! Last I checked, that was the current number of songs, albums and/or artists on my Recommendations List, a special offline log file I keep when I plan to explore a suggested listening later on. That number was decreased by one earlier this evening when I finally got around to "A Decade Of Music", a twenty-track compilation of recordings by a guy I know absolutely nothing about: Bryan Hawn. Well, let's get to know him a little better, shall we? As the album title would appear to suggest, he's been performing music since at least the beginning of the New Millennium, and with a beautiful voice like his, he's sure to be singing for many more decades beyond the next millennium! Seeing as I've still been in the trance/Eurodance mood lately, the opening high-energy thriller "More Than Enough" was more than satisfying to my ears! It's been less than a day since I've had this compilation in my possession, and "More Than Enough" has already received at least four replays from me, and potentially many more before this weekend draws to a close! Then just as the thrills get going, the chills quickly blow in with "Stranded", the first of a series of elegant piano-based ballads where the beauty in Bryan's voice dazzled and captivated me and left me in a state of pure awe and wonder. Only seemed fitting that he even recorded a song called "Beauty", which is heard a couple of tracks later and is indeed a beauty. Thought it was cool how the words in the lyrics to this one—'the beauty of your face'—are both the title to a favorite song and the title to the album from which it came itself by Swedish pop singer Evan. The other piano ballads and chilled slow numbers are all dazzling highlights as well: "Watch Me Fly", "Here With You", "Unconditional", "What's Your Story?", "The Best Of Me", "Stronger Than Before", "In Your Arms" (he really does this romantic piece up big and bold!), "I'm In Love", "Almost Home" (wow, that soaring voice near the end is a show-stopping moment!), "I Still Believe" (not a cover of the memorable Brenda K. Starr hit, but a song of self-encouragement and inspiration nonetheless), "All Of Me"—I adore every single one of them! Bryan even serves up a magnificent rendition of the holiday classic, "O Holy Night"; it's always a joy to hear one of my favorite Christmas songs, and just in time for the season. And even a song he performed when he was only fifteen years old—"Fallin' For You—is a very mature and brilliant listen! Gosh, that's about this entire compilation, isn't it? Not entirely, because besides opening dance thriller "More Than Enough", there are plenty more thrills to follow when the r&b rhythms put some bounce into the music on "Check Your Move", "Without You", "Alone" and "Who You Are?", the latter trio featuring a rapper who goes by the nickname Ricky Jay. "A Decade Of Music" is sure one to be something that I'll be still enjoying for decades to come; meanwhile, I'm quite anxious to see what other gems this guy has recorded in the decade prior to this 2011 release.....

1. More Than Enough
2. Stranded
3. Check Your Move [feat. Malynda Hale]
4. Beauty
5. Without You [feat. Ricky Jay]
6. I'm In Love
7. Watch Me Fly
8. Alone [feat. Ricky Jay]
9. Here With You
10. Who You Are [feat. Ricky Jay]
11. Unconditional
12. What's Your Story?
13. The Best Of Me
14. Stronger Than Before
15. In Your Arms
16. Almost Home
17. O Holy Night [Live]
18. All Of Me [Animal Planet's Fatal Attraction]
19. I Still Believe [Bryan's First Recording Ever]
20. Fallin' For You [Live Unreleased Song - Age 15]

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