Saturday, March 3, 2012

Peter Broderick - (2012)

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I’m certainly happy I got into Peter Broderick when I did – if I had gotten into him earlier the wait for his new album would’ve been excruciating, any later and I might’ve missed actually listening to his whole catalog before the new album. His first proper vocal album since 2008’s Home, (yes that’s the name of the album as well as Broderick’s interactive album website) might very well be his most touchingly personal. expands on the various skill developed through Broderick other releases – takes Broderick’s compositional talents and uses them to create some of the most beautiful engaging arrangements, takes Broderick’s experimentation with technology and adds in effects when best employed for maximum effect. His latest album is without a doubt his most personal – featuring a song written by his father, an elegy for a deceased musical hero/mentor, through listening to the album (and also checking out the notes on the website) you learn far more about Broderick than you might in conversation or an interview. In an ironic twist, Broderick’s vocal album begins with about three minutes of instrumentals before he even utters his first word which is subsequently “I Am Piano” – a play on both its common meaning (the instrument which accompanies the song) and its musical definition (soft, subdued). “A Tribute to Our Letter Writing Days” details Broderick’s letter writing escapades with a friend/ex-lover using a repetitive “send a letter” to show the back and forth of their letter writing and featuring Peter’s sister Heather Woods Broderick adding some delicate female vocals that engage in the musical tug-of-war. Broderick then closes out the song from the point of view of the letter which has its own wants.

One of Peter Broderick’s friends Jana commented that his music isn’t edgy enough (which he addresses in the song “Bad Words”) and that might very well be true. Broderick’s music is never harsh or unpleasing, never offensive or grating but in lieu of that, Broderick’s music is always engaging: beautifully presented, artfully composed, and offhandedly revealing. Through Broderick’s music, and  in particular, you really get the sense that you are getting to know someone – a musical conversation where Broderick reveals small tidbits of information about himself in exchange for your careful, unintrusive listening. Broderick might come off as the polite, nonconfrontational sort which might very well be true of the man’s personality but if you take the time to listen, you’re rewarded with eclectic blend of brilliantly crafted music, unexpected tension and release (“Asleep”)  and occasional possibly unintended humor (“Bad Words”, “Asleep”).  Each track consists of something highlight-worthy which is exactly what you need in an album like this – Broderick’s songs are crafted with exceptional love and care that result in some of the loveliest enriching musical experiences.  might very well be Peter Broderick’s best album to date toeing the appropriate line of emotional revealing singer/songwriter lyricism, elegant composition, and music written for music’s sake that manages to create a well-rounded album you’ll have trouble putting down.

You can listen to Peter Broderick's new album on his interactive website, the title automatically links to. Also on Spotify

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