“No one wants you quite the way I do”
This summer’s haunting EP “Everlasting” from Brooklyn resident L.D. Brown AKA ‘Grey Reverend’ is followed up this September by the full length Album, “A Hero’s Lie”.
Opening with “Everlasting” and taking us by the hand through a mesmerising acoustic folk blues garden, this is a hugely enjoyable forty minute musical journey.
Mr. Brown took full producing duties, song writing and the majority of the performing; so this is quite the virtuoso affair. The production and orchestration is simple, imaginative and devastatingly effective.
In successive tracks, instrumental voices are added carefully and sparingly but to great effect. From the sneaky strings that slip in near the end of “My Hands” to the full instrumental phrases sitting between lilting vocal and guitar sections of “This Way”, these arrangements serve to paint texture, emphasise, create space and add light. The bridge of piano, percussion and what we’re reliable informed is “a homemade mellotron” in “This Way” is at once surprising and yet natural. Later still the swelling chords that underline the chorus to “Bellafonte” are there before you know it, and in an instant they vanish without trace.
“Only One” is radio friendly folk pop that swims around in your head long after its three and half minutes have elapsed. Moody jazz and blues piano infuse the landscape of “The Payoff” complimenting the cheesed-off lyrics – “Asking you to lay off the insults; makes chaos of my good days”. Lyrically Mr. Brown has the blues, it has to be said.
A guitar based instrumental, “Little Jose” allows Mr. Brown to exhibit his exemplary technical ability. Then on the closing track “Fate” a narrative is thread of resignation and regret. Mr. Brown signs off by softly repeating “It’s only Fate, it’s everything you bargained for” only to be drowned comfortable counterpoint piano, brass and percussion.
A truly remarkable creation, “A Hero’s Lie” is a wondrous fusion of styles and talent. This recording leaves the listener thinking; I want more!
You can buy “A Hero’s Lie” from Ninja Tunes here.
Review by CD