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Say What You Feel
Artist: Paul Brady
Label: Compass Records
Length: 12 tracks/46:55

Paul Brady, well known as both a song writer and acoustic performer, released his thirteeth CD this winter entitled Say What You Feel. Even though this is a studio recording, his first in four years, it is not your typical end result.  Brady calls the recording experience 'organic in approach' due to the fact that eleven of the twelve songs were recorded with most of the musicians playing at the same time with only 30 minute rehearsal before each recording and just two to three takes on each song.  You won't find many musicians this confident of their vocals, instrument handling or that of their members which, in the end, produce an album that is of highest quality in all areas.

Brady can fit into the contemporary country/western/folk category with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, who joins him in chorus on "Doin' It In The Dark." He's good at what he does; acoustic guitar and vocals along with his song writing ability.  With his newest project Brady tackles relationships through most of his tracks with the honesty to say what he feels, thus the title.

"Doin' It In The Dark" veers away from relationships and into the current state of our world.  The message of this track could be taken on several levels such as political awareness, anger, and the trance of the status quo. With so many bands tackling current political problems it's not surprising Brady chose to do the same.

    Doin' it in the dark (look at our leaders!)
    Doin' it in the dark (leading us back in time)
    Doin' it in the dark (when will we ever learn?) 
    Us humans doin' it in the dark

Say What You Feel is a good CD and easy listening since the relationship songs stay away from complicated issues. 

Leslie Bogar 01/22/05



It sounds like the premise to a bad joke: What do you get when you cross an Irish singer with Southern flavored jazz?  The answer is Paul Brady.

Given the connection between Irish and Appalachian music, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when Brady employs blues, jazz, or southern rock into his music, yet it does.  “Love in a Bubble” is a bluesy number with Paul Simon-like lyrics.  “Living for the Corporation” is a working man’s anthem that illustrates a common dilemma: how much does money have to do with happiness?

“Doin’ It In the Dark” casts a cynical eye at the end of the world, while the title to “I Only Want You” should be self-explanatory.  

Brady is probably a better songwriter than singer, but on _The You That’s Really You_ he manages to infuse a Neville Brothers tone into his vocals that make this song stand out.  With guests Byron House and Bonnie Raitt, the music here is as good as it can be.

The clunker here is “Don’t Try to Please Me”, which is notable to its insipid lyrics such as:

I don’t need no cushion
 I love it when you’re pushin’
 ‘Cause baby, when you’re feeling strong
 That’s what really turns me on. 
Brady is too good of a songwriter to let this type of this slip through.  It detracts from the album as a whole, which is pretty good otherwise.  It doesn’t reach Trick or Treat levels, but it’ll do in a pinch.

Brian A. Smith
31 January 2005


 
 
 
 

 

   
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