Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brambles - Next Big Thing - 2000

Preferring to believe that the glass is half full rather than half empty, these brothers tend to have rather soft and gentle harmonies over some breezy, laid-back pop/rock arrangements. The opening title track is a good example of this, evoking images of the Beach Boys and endless summer California days. "Gotta Be Love" continues in a tight and dreamy pop sequence, with the appropriate singalong portions and "doo do doos." A good portion of the album keeps a framework that works well, but at times the lyrics and overall feeling lose some of their energy. "Wish" is such a case, as the closing minute is just repetitive and should have been edited. Slower or alternative tempo ballads like "This," "She'll Never Know," and "A Need for Knowing" recall bands such as the Rembrandts and even the La's, particularly during the brief but inspired guitar solos. One of the finer songs and perhaps the album's best is "Baby Girl." Both Tim Anthony and Lou Anthony complement each other quite well, but the vocals aren't powerful or over the top, relying on the music to lead the way, as on "Feels Like Forever." The result is a series of adequate and quite melodic summer pop tunes, culminating in the pretty "Happy Ending." -AMG