Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bryan Rice-Good News (2007)


Extra! Extra! Come read all about this next music treat! Catching up with one of the many recent recommendations to me, I made some time yesterday to treat my ears to this second album by a Danish pop singer/songwriter whom I'd never had the pleasure of listening to before. It was during a momentary stretch a few months ago while I was on a Danish pop kick that I'd get introduced to Bryan Rice, and that Danish pop kick just may have gotten jump-started again the moment I became dazzled by his beautiful voice on the opener, "Here I Am", loving especially how that voice soared into a high and lofty stratosphere in his stellar singing of the title lyrics at the end of the chorus. Had to play it twice, as I often feel compelled to do with any dazzling gems like these; it was a sure early indicator that I would adore hearing this guy sing the rest of the way through! Bryan's beautiful voice, and the refreshing easy-listening pop/rock sound accompanying it, would captivate my audio senses next on "A Call For Help", one of those upbeat, wake-up-in-the-morning numbers that locks you in with that get-stuck-in-your-head-all-day feeling and whose lyrics became a secondary early indicator of his thoughtful and solid songwriting techniques (I really liked his inclusion of the oft-mentioned expression 'once bitten, twice shy' in the second verse). It was simply pure bliss to hear that lofty, soaring voice of his singing only the words 'I lied' over and over on the follow-up track, which tells a rather painful story of not really being over the woman in his life and pretending to have not been hurt. But the mood quickly shifts right afterwards with the gloriously good title track, where he confidently spreads the good news about the woman who makes him happy and whole. Hearing him confess just how special she is in his colorful comparisons to everything positive will definitely make listeners feel good about the ones they're with or, at the very least, brighten up your day and instill confidence for you to go out and seek that special someone in your life. That instant adoration I felt upon hearing his voice for the first time on "Here I Am" came over me on "This Is For You", "Everywhere You'll Be", "Just Walk Away" (his whispery, breathy vocals in the introductory movement have a distinctive aching and desperate sting, which totally captures the essence of this song) and, one of the coolest songs on this album in terms of presentation and style, "Sleeping Satellite" (his introductory vocals here have an echoing, distorted effect to them, which is a nice touch for the whole cosmic 'satellite' theme to this one). "Simply Complicated": it's another whose title immediately got me thinking and wondering, another where his terrific songwriting techniques are shown off with the great chorus, talking about things being upside-down and inside-out and spinning round and round. Yet there's absolutely nothing complicated about Bryan's straightforward approach on the epic moving piece, "Those Who Love Us The Most". This mellow piano ballad features some lovely orchestral background overtures, highlighting his beautiful voice and making it the clear center of attention while the words of lives being more precious than gold and keeping those lives close truly opening up my mind and speaking to me. In almost stark contrast is the concluding piece, "We're Not". Despite the warming, intimate arrangement of the piano and orchestral music, which highlights that beautiful voice and puts it on center stage once again, the story of a shattered romantic dream puts a negative taste on the end of this listening journey; kinda ironic, considering everything else good here that "Good News" delivers to your audio doorstep:

1. Here I Am
2. A Call For Help
3. I Lied
4. Good News
5. Sleeping Satellite
6. Those Who Love Us The Most
7. This Is For You
8. Everywhere You'll Be
9. Just Walk Away
10. Simply Complicated
11. We're Not

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