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Harmony of Passing Light
  • Artist: Brad Brooks
  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 729440589028
  • Item #: 5697X
  • Genre: Rock
  • Release Date: 1/19/2012
  • Rank: 1000000000
CD 
Price: $9.90

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Description

Harmony of Passing Light on CD

No Depression review by Grant Britt 2/28/12 Even if you've never heard of Brad Brooks, if you're a gamer, you've heard him. That's him on Guitar Hero II doing the Stones "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'" and "Strutter" by KISS; on Karaoke Revolution (NTSC) covering the Black Crowes' "She Talks To Angels." You can also find him doing Bon Jovi's "Livin' on A Prayer" and the Stones "Paint It Black" on Karoake Revolution Presents American Idol Encore 2. The Tuscon raised, Bay area-based singer/guitarist's originals are just as impressive. For his third outing, Brooks flavors his pop with a '70s sensibility, stirring in influences from the Beatles to Hall and Oates. "Calling Everyone" is reminiscent of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes whipping up the crowd at the Stone Pony into a sweaty frenzy. There's plenty of Beatles influences sprinkled throughout. Brooks shouts frantically like John Lennon in his Plastic Ono Band days over industrial psychedelic guitar shredding on "Spinner and the Spun." "Steal My Disarray" sounds like George Harrison crooning over his weepy guitar. T"Exemplary Girl" could be an unlikely pairing of Paul McCartney duetting with Hall and Oates; "Will It Be Enough" sounds like Wilco's Jeff Tweedy accompanied by Harrison on guitar. But this is no nostalgia celebration, no retro shmoozefest. Although many of his instrumental influences may be based on soothing melodies from the past, Brooks' lyrics are gritty and down to earth. "Mephistopheles, I ain't no sucka." he barks on "Spinner and the Spun," "Evil doesn't even know that it is/ it's a race between the spinner and the spun." If you insist on labeling Brooks, pop revisionist is the best fit. In his hands, pop is taken out of the puberty market and made suitable for listeners with a little more life experience. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Press Release This is Brooks' first release since 2007's Spill Collateral Love, a sprawling, ambitious record across a vast canvas. With 'Harmony Of Passing Light', Brooks has sacrificed none of the melodic brilliance and inventiveness of his previous work, but here presents a streamlined, completely accessible suite of songs, with lyrics that pack a punch on first listen and stay with you. It's reminiscent of Skylarking-era XTC and Summerteeth-era Wilco in it's melodic, broad interpretation of what a rock album can and should sound like while still feeling intimate and personal. Brooks' gift for melody and his soaring vocals remain the most immediately impressive traits of his music. Brooks' voice can wail like a blue-eyed soul singer, whisper plaintively, croon with just a touch of twang, or soar through the most demanding melodic acrobatics, and he pulls off all of these different guises on 'Harmony Of Passing Light' without the record sounding disjointed. Rather, it's an album with multiple textures that still feels unified. Highlights are plentiful-- the psychedelic-meets-Motown bounce of lead track 'Calling Everyone' and 'Exemplary Girl' have an almost symphonic sweep behind their infectious grooves. The ballads are moving enough not to hinder the record's momentum (especially 'Bumbelina,' which you'll be involuntarily singing for weeks). Brooks can straight-up rock as well, which he does on 'Spinner And The Spun.' The highlight of the album, though, is the centerpiece track 'Farewell To Folderol.' Perhaps the track most similar to Brooks' previous work, it shows his growth as a songwriter. Brooks chooses his colors carefully throughout the epic, six minute track, and the result is a song that builds to a delirious height and is a perfect metaphor for Brooks' growth as an artist. As the song says, Brooks has decided to 'Sell what we borrowed / donate what we stole / leave this town.' Brooks has been one of the Bay Area's best-kept secrets for years. This album should change all that. Brooks has found the essence of his own unique voice, and put out an early contender for album of the year.