brent bourgeoisHalf of Bourgeois Tagg returns with sparkling production and masterful, classic pop-rock songwriting...

Don't Look Back
Artist: Brent Bourgeois
11 tracks 41:43

The new album by Brent Bourgeois (yes, he was half of the legendary band, Bourgeois Tagg) is a danceable, funky romp that verbally references Charlie Peacock and vocally channels Sly Stone on the title track. Despite the project's name, not only does Bourgeois 'look back,' but he also manages to reach back to a musical legacy that straddles the best of both sides of that imaginary wall between CCM and the rest of the world – as a result, Don't Look Back features an impressive guest list that includes the likes of Julian Lennon, Rachael Lampa, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Todd Rundgren, Jerry McPherson, Mike Roe, Aaron Smith, Chris Rodriguez and others.

With sparkling production and masterful classic pop-rock songwriting, Bourgeois offers a little over 40 minutes of hooky songs about a variety of subjects ranging from the angst and joys of relationships ("Back of My Hand," "Deep Blue Sea," ), personal isolation ("My Island"), a small serving of self-pity ("Poor Me"), a bit of sentimentality ("All She Ever Wanted"), and a Beatle-esque ode to the obsession to post every rational or irrational moment of our lives on social media ("Psycho").

The variety of topics are, more often than not, served up with a fairly danceable treatment – which is not to say that there aren't more traditional classic pop-rock sounds here – in fact, there's quite a variety. The adventurous, "Anything's Possible," starts out sounding like the opening theme of a sixties spy film, the Julian Lennon-sung, "The High Road," is a classic summer pop love song, "Poor Me," is a slow pop-waltz, and the album's closer, "Without You," is a beautiful, sensitive, very vulnerable confession.

Although Bourgeois pretty much avoids the J-word, and even any hint of undercover evangelism or Christianese , Don't Look Back is indeed involved with the soul and is book-ended by some interesting lyrics. From the title track, which starts the project off, a statement of independence from the watchful eye of the Christian word-counters:

"When the eyes of the world have descended upon you
And you feel like you have to justify every single thing that you do
It may be time to try a different tact
Keep your eyes straight ahead and don't look back "

The last song, though, hints at a more vulnerable soul:

Looking in the mirror what do I see?
Faithless staring back at me 
Nothing really matters                                                                                                                               'Cause without you My whole life's in tatters...

Of course, song lyrics are open to interpretation, and there's always the danger of looking too close. You can always just dance.

Bert Saraco

{module Possibly Related Articles - Also search our Legacy Site}