Artist: John Brownlow – The Summertime
Who doesn’t like Singer-Songwriter music? I’d all hands go up in the air. I mean, while Singer-Songwriter, which by the way kind of emerged in the late 60’s and 70’s with the arrival of artists like Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Jim Croce and Billy Joel they represented a close and personal artistic snapshot from the artist in question. The music tended to be at times gripping and powerful. Many feel the Singer-Songwriter sound has lost it’s way evolving into overly commercialized, highly corporate songs that do a better job at getting under your skin rather than getting into your heart.
Despite this introduction most music fans can’t deny getting into a good poppy groove every now and then and really enjoy well written music within this style from time to time. You know modern bands like: Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones as well as other not that poppy as The Clash, Peter Frampton and more. The latest release by John Brownlow entitled appropriately enough “The Summertime” came to my attention last week. I must admit I yawned expecting just another artist in denial who was going to rip off other classic acts – only to be blown away with what I heard. I get the impression Brownlow writes and records in a unique fusionist style of music combining the best of Powerpop and gold old Rock and Roll. His unique style meshes rhythms and sounds with love letters and personal stories. Brownlow asks us to examine the world in a fresh light. I hate to pigeonhole but if you like The Beatles, Squeeze, Wire and The Smiths (?) you will like John Brownlow . “The Summertime” is exceptional music and multi-dimensional to say the least – bit it sounds more like a great album from back in the days. The music itself is uplifting, thought provoking, and interesting though mellow at times. It also however possesses a Soft Rock core kind of breaking the traditional mold for Singer-Songwriter style of music. Does all of this sound a bit over the top to you? Just listen to marquee tracks like “Burn Hollywood Burn”, “Let The Feeling Go” and “Shame The Devil” and you’ll begin to see my perspective.
The main focus of this genre of music is generally the personality of the artist, here Brownlow manages to win you over without even trying. The amazing lyrical content never feels like an afterthought. What’s more the vocal work and impeccable songwriting from Brownlow really brings it all together. All in all it’s a powerful combination that puts a guy like Brownlow on the map for 2017. He should go a long way towards proving that real music is still alive and well.