Songs from the Deep Sleep
CD Review: MONDAY, APRIL 07, 2008 Brandon Wilde 'Songs From The Deep Sleep' Reviewed by Aaron Kupferberg This album comes out of nowhere, and blows me away with amazing songwriting and playing. Brooklyn's Brandon Wilde has a Paul McCartney meets Elliot Smith musical sensibility. Opening with 'Whatever You Want' will remind most listeners of Chris Brown or David Grahame, with delicate strum and irresistible vocals. Even the slow alt country ballads like 'Ever After' or 'Rag Doll' have an amazingly catchy bridge that keeps you engaged. Most of the album is full of low key ballads, but with those clean Macca-styled hooks and arrangements. The ballad 'Highway to The Moon' takes a very Radiohead-like turn with wonderful touches of acoustic folk and multi-tracked harmony. The thickest, stickiest hook and my favorite on this album is 'Love in Cars.' This sole mid-tempo song will have you singing and clapping along in no time. It's been on my ipod all week! The ballad 'Cannot Say' evokes a bit of The Small Faces ballads and Brandon's voice almost morphs into Rod Stewart's cragginess. He ends the album with 'Hollow' - a Beatlesque ballad of 'Blackbird' proportions. My only nit pick here is that there is nothing on the album that is faster paced. But Mr. Wilde is an extremely talented musician and his 'Songs From The Deep Sleep' are a well executed collection of subtle musical beauty. ----------------------------------------------------------- CD Review: 'Songs From the Deep Sleep' by Brandon Wilde November 24, 2006 - 10:44 am | Posted and reviewed by BenKrieger When Brandon Wilde was still running around in his overalls on Brooklyn playgrounds, he already had Sgt. Pepper engrained in his brain. With the exception of a few detours-most notably Radiohead Avenue-his new record, Songs From the Deep Sleep, is a perfect summation of love, loss, regret and resolutions to carry on, all wrapped in a childhood love for Paul McCartney. Wilde's talent is seasoned, well executed, thoroughly enjoyable, and leagues above the lion's share of the Williamsburg music scene. I listened to this record for weeks in my apartment, and more recently on a road-trip out to Ohio and on Thanksgiving Day while we were preparing our holiday dinner; it was perfect for all these occasions. I might not be able to compose a perfectly convincing review for you, but in my heart I cannot recommend this CD more highly. That is the easy part of the review. The trickier part is to try and explain why this record works so well. On paper, it shouldn't. There is no lyrical abrasiveness, unexpected twists of artistic adventurism (outside of a brilliant use of key modulation and some fantastic bridges), unusual instrumentation, quirky vocals...and in the past, I have made similar observations before subsequently trashing a record. Being active in the music scene, I get a chance to meet and befriend many of the artists whose records I review. "Putting your best self into your music" is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot, and my complaint has always been that the qualities that artists choose to leave out of their work would often make it more interesting. Usually I make an observation about what is missing in a collection because I know for a fact that choices were made during the recording and sequencing process for purely commercial purposes. "Change that swear word." "Leave this song off." "Put this song at the end of the CD so it won't scare off the listener." I hate decisions like that...they should be made subconsciously as part of the songwriting process or they shouldn't be made at all. If you write a song, it (or a song like it) should be represented in the collection you present to the world. No such sacrifices have been made with this record; it goes down like a good Beatles iMix because that is who Brandon Wilde is. "You can do what you want to do today" is a line from the opening track and it lays the groundwork for the rest of the record. Doing what you want to do is not as easy as it seems in the music industry. Songs From the Deep Sleep works because Wilde hasn't hidden anything on this project. See, he isn't (generally) quirky. He isn't abrasive. He is an extremely talented sweetheart who loves the Beatles and knows how to make a fantastic CD. You may never get to meet Wilde personally, but listening to his new collection of songs, you will get as pure a representation of his soul as an artist can put on record. That, my friends, is a major achievement, and should help him win over a lot of new fans.