John Brownlow - The Summertime
It’s funny how music can change. It’s so malleable; you could hear it in one setting and hate it, vowing to never again let such filth invade your eardrums again. I’m referring to sonic pop by the way. Then, you could hear it at a different time, in a different situation, a different artist and see something in it that you never considered. It’s not just to down to peer pressure, either. You could be listening to a song on repeat in the morning that by night time you can’t stand. Basically, music isn’t just a meal in itself, to really enjoy it you need to be in the right frame of mind, as well as a situation where you can enjoy it.
When I turned on The Summertime by Ontario (Canada) based singer-songwriter John Brownlow I actually did not expect what I heard. I probably wasn’t giving him the best chance for success as I must be honest. Some artists are a bit over the top about their songwriting. It’s just feels as if they are selling something under a false pretence lacking a real and genuine sense of musical inspiration. I mean give me something I can feel! Today it feels like many artists out there are going through the motions and how appropriate none of it provides real inspiration. Where am I going with his? None of the above applies to John Brownlow and his music. I was sold on him during the first few seconds of “The Summertime.” I might add as I drifted in and out of uncomfortable sleep, hazy static and sporadic bursts of music punctuated my dreams I realized this man believes and feels every stroke, every note, every song he played. I played most of the songs on this CD probably 4 times and despite the brutal sludgy of the Brooklyn traffic there was something on many of this 29 track collection that soothed my inner skepticism. On the second listen, slightly more conscious this time, I began to pick out the sounds somewhere between Elton John, Elvis Costello, Peter Gabriel and Squeeze. Bending elements of catchy 70s Powerpop, Britpop and powerful singer-songwriter one can’t help but fall madly in love with songs like (Live Forever) and (Shalala Says I Love You) and (Kingdom Come). This is the perfect CD, it relax and drift in and out of sleep with. This is a compliment as John Brownlow manages to transcends space and time. No matter what state of mind your in all these tracks will make a lasting impression on you. This CD will not go in my “reviewed pile” rather it will go on my I-POD indefinitely.
The mix works and the somewhat dreamy precision and concentrated themes meshed with Brownlow’s clairvoyance makes for some top quality music. Like I mentioned I was sold on during the first few seconds of “The Summertime” and I kept waiting for a blemish or disappointing song to emerge – which never happened through to the end. John Brownlow is for real. It’s these types of artists that make it all the way to the top of our hearts.