Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Day Is Brave
Genres: Folk, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
With his warm, rich tenor and emotionally powerful songs, Brendan James announces himself as an artist-to-watch on his dazzling debut album The Day Is Brave. Rooted in the classic singer/songwriter tradition, with its intr... more »
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With his warm, rich tenor and emotionally powerful songs, Brendan James announces himself as an artist-to-watch on his dazzling debut album The Day Is Brave. Rooted in the classic singer/songwriter tradition, with its introspective lyrics and unforgettable melodies, the album is 11 tracks of stunning songcraft: elegant, earthy, and displaying a total lack of artifice that is rare in the pop world these days.
Influenced by the understated simplicity of the Carly Simon, James Taylor, and Carole King records he grew up with, James knew he wanted his debut to sound natural and unaffected. The phrase stripped-down is so overused, and bare-bones doesn t really describe it, he says, but I wanted the simplicity of the art to come through. I wanted it to have tasteful blend of folk and pop influences. Brendan James Photos
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A Confluence Of Honest, Heartfelt Songs
Philip R. Heath | DFW | 08/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Brendan James is a bit of a departure from my normal listening preferences, but I wanted to branch out a little. The Day Is Brave turned out to be an interesting choice for doing so. You will not find high energy rock, up-tempo blues, or the twang of folk/country on this CD. No, the focal point of The Day Is Brave is James himself be it his vocals, lyrics, or piano playing.
Vocally, Brendan James has a very smooth, rich baritone voice. He has good range and rhythmic variety, yet his delivery is clear and easy to understand. When he sings, it reminds of Elton John or George Michael but with a somewhat deeper voice. Like both of these artists, James sings with a great deal of emotion because...
Lyrically, James wears his emotions on his sleeve. On "The Other Side" he contrasts what he has become against the struggles of growing up as a kid who didn't fit in - "Oh Mother, look how your boy turned out/300 miles from that small town." "Green" and "Early April Morning" are both songs where James works out his past love experiences. While these are typical songs to find an artist write about, James does rise above the everyday with his protest of the Iraq war, "Hero's Song". Here he gives the perspective of the front line soldier who has been to Iraq. (I am merely informing the reader of the songs content, and it is not my purpose to state agreement or disagreement. Each individual must decide for themselves where they stand on this matter without my influence one way or the other.) Combining the vocal delivery and lyrics, one cannot mistake the fact that the subjects that Brendan James sings about are very important to him.
Instrumentally, James piano playing is the centerpiece of the CD. While he is supported by typical guitar, bass, and percussion instrumentalists, none of these are what sticks with you after listening to the The Day Is Brave. It is the piano that completes the picture started by the lyrics and vocal delivery.
While this is not a CD that I will listen to on an everyday basis, I do think it is good for what it is. The music is not high energy, but I would not call it relaxing either - unless you intend to ignore the lyrics. No, it is too thought provoking for that. However, when we find ourselves inundated with mindless drivel, we must acknowledge that which rises above it. Is this CD for you? Maybe... It depends.
Download this: Early April Morning"
An album above the rest
midnight821 | Kentucky | 08/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brendan James has a great voice that has depth and range. His songs also have good melodies that go beyond the typical songs of today. There are not many songs on The Day is Brave that stretch the limits in terms of depth, but it does have excellent melodies. Put that together with stories that his songs tell and you have a great album. "Green" is a great start to the album, it's upbeat and sets a good feel for the rest of the songs.
"Hero's Song" is an example of James' songs are better at telling stories. It's not a song that just repeats over and over. It's a story that has a slower tempo accompanying it. "The Other Side" has a more varied beat and strays a little bit from the other songs, but I consider it to be a great addition.
Some people think that Brendan James' songs all sound the same, but I certainly disagree. I think they offer plenty of melody, depth (in both tone and meaning), and tempo. This is a great album that has plenty of songs that will be played over and over. It's great to have a CD with 10-11 great songs instead of just 2 or 3. Highly recommended."
Like a tender, beautiful ache in the heart
nychen | GA, USA | 08/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Put the CD on Play, and the sounds of a piano plays, then the voice of a guy who speaks his soul, who sings his heart out and you just cannot help but listen and fall deep in love with the lyrics and the music, which all blends together so well, like it was meant to be something you hear on the radio, every s i n g l e day.
***Like a tender, beautiful ache in the heart***
- that's what Brendon James's voice sounds like to me. It's a natural smooth voice that soothes and cools, it's hard to describe - you just have to hear it.
I haven't been amazed by any artists in awhile and I listen to alot of new music on the radio, from the media/movies/tv and even online streams, you don't hear a pureness like you do from James's voice and his music. When you hear his music, it's not the stories told in his honest lyrics that grab you first, it's the tone, the instrumental and atmosphere of his music that lures you in, and then you start listening and hearing and understand his songs.
I love that Brendan James is a singer, but mainly that he is also a writer of his own music, that seems to be a rare talent these days. His stories flow, and are very emotional from his voice and it pulls you in the more you listen.
"The Day Is Brave" is a wonderful CD - romantic, calming, tragic, touching and so raw in a human way. I'm glad to have discovered Brendan James, and I hope you'll give him a listen. May James continue to sing and write passionately for many many CDs to come so that we may continue to enjoy his talent for many many years!"