Album – Goddamned – Jay Brannan

Posted by admin on September 10th, 2008

Sexuality is not something that I generally associate to music, consciously anyway. Yes in this musical world of mine, boy meets girl, marries girl, splits up, sticks together or does any of a combination of those things, sometimes multiple times and continues the rollercoaster that is life, experiencing the constant ups and downs. With that in mind, it was at first somewhat unnerving to listen to Jay Brannan. It doesn’t take long to realise that this is a young man, who’s not only gay, but has no qualms about taking us on the journey that is his life. While this may seem somewhat of an uncomfortable ride for the average hetrosexual male, I had no such worries and even if I had, man that voice can thaw all but the coldest hearts.

I found about about Jay, via my friends at Nettwerk. I received an email letting me know about this guy and his new album. I have to admit, I listened to “Housewife” with the expected preconceptions, but as these preconceptions slowly started to erode, I realised that here was an incredible talent who I had to get in for review. That being said, this is not an album for sensitive ears as there are a few things that might make grannies toes curl, in language an imagery.

“Can’t Have It All” opens the album, and the imagery is finely painted with an incredible attention to detail. The track unfolds wonderfully, showcasing some great lyrics, but an even more incredible voice. I’m not usually a fan of expletives in music, unless they add character. There’s nothing worse than swear words being used for effect, rather than for the setting of scenes. At first I though the expletives here, were a little over the top, but the more I listened to the album, the more they felt right, in a surrounding that was true to life.

With 11 tracks on the album, there’s certainly no shortage of terrific songs. “Can’t Have It All” is certainly right up there, along with “Half Boyfriend”, “Housewife” and “Bowlegged & Starving” which has a great quirky flavour to it. It’s funny, put that together with the track that follows, “On All Fours” and you can’t deny that those are an interesting collection of song titles.

The album rounds off with “String-A-Long Song”, a track that has a different feel than the rest, but it works great as a track to lead things out on.

A great collection of songs, from a truly exciting talent. Even if all the songs on this album were awful, here is a guy that could sing the phone book and make it sound good.

Conclusion : A simply stunning album, that sells itself through Jay’s incredible vocals and wonderful musical accompaniment. Certainly this is not going to be everyones cup of tea, but please take the time to at least listen to a few of Jay’s tracks on MySpace or YouTube, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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