Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Brendan James-Hope In Transition (2012)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: January 12, 2016

I've been playing catch-up on a lot of things concerning my music activities, and that's especially true for the long list of artists who were recommended to me over the past two or three years or so. The New Hampshire-born singer/songwriter Brendan James is one of those talents, and it's his third solo album, "Hope In Transition", that entertained my ears on this Tuesday night. "Nothin' But Love": it was this beauty of a love song that had formally introduced me to Brendan. When it comes to love song lyrics, this one's as about intimate and down-to-earth as they come, I myself being particularly fond of the metaphor that talks about his life being a stoplight, but not knowing it had turned green. "Younger Days": these songs that reflect on a songwriter's childhood are always a fun listen. I felt like I was right there in the room listening to every one of the words of Brendan's story as the song progressed—from the part about him wearing his Air Jordans to hating one of his siblings—with the mellow pop/rock sound leading the way. That same sense of visualization I got from taking in the words to that song was felt again while tuning in to this album's eighth track entitled "Charleston". This time, Brendan's reflections are much warmer, singing about all of the colorful imagery from a town he once fell in love with. Though beneath the warmth, perhaps, is a touch of sadness and longing. Besides the story, I just liked the whole skip-along-and-hum-to liveliness of the song's delivery. A singer's true vocal talents can often be measured on slow, sentimental piano pieces such as Track #6's "Here For You"; a performance well done, I must say, on this thoughtful tribute. Then there's the upbeat rockin' jams that make the listener feel good, highlighted by "Carriers Of The Light" (loving that whistle melody in the midway break and that slight Western cowboy-inspired 'galloping' rhythm) and my personal favorite, "NightLife", where he gives all the reasons why everyone should dance and be happy just to be alive:

1. None Of Them Are You
2. Younger Days
3. Carriers Of The Light
4. NightLife
5. Heavy Liftiing
6. Here For You
7. Nothin' But Love
8. Charleston
9. World On The Streets

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