Monday, July 27, 2009

Review -- MICHAEL JEROME BROWNE -- This Beautiful Mess

Michael Jerome Browne
Borealis Records
There are CDs that when you hear the first song you just have the feeling you're in for something special. That is pretty much the case with This Beautiful Mess from Michael Jerome Browne.
The opening song Low Tide sets the bar pretty high, and guess what, Browne keeps on pace for the next 14 songs, creating a completely entertaining album.
Now that should not come as a surprise considering Browne earned Soloist of the Year honours at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. There are a lot of excellent Canadian folk artists, and this guy is certainly deserving of the ward based on this disk.
This is true folk. At times Browne sings as a way to protest, a way to send a message, like on the haunting The War Will End. It's an example of what good folk is really all about.
A similar song, albeit with a more personal message is When See Goes Out In This World, a song about a child growing up. Nicely done.
Summer Shoes On (Song for Neil Stonechild) speaks to the tragic death of Stonechild on a cold winter night. This is an extremely powerful song. He tackles a hot spot issue in this song, tells the story, and creates an amazing piece. This is a song which deserves wide play just for the hauntingly sad story it tells.
In some instances, the songs have a definite old folk feel too, I'm Going Away could be a song from the 1920s as easily as from today. Browne shows a definite respect for the roots of roots when he pens a song like this one.
Browne's material is what the best of folk should be. This is a truly incredible album. A true must ave for folk/roots fans.
Check this gem out at

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 22, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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