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Watchfires

Braddigan

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Album Review

Brad Corrigan, the former lead singer of Dispatch, opens up his new life as Braddigan with "Walls," a song that is flavored with an approach a young Stephen Stills gave us on the radio decades before the independent artist emerged as a power. The original compositions display a pop polish and commercial appeal that might strike the jam band fans of the aforementioned Dispatch as mainstream. It is an elegant move forward expressed in the masterful playing on "Daggers," a tune with merit and a warm assuring vocal that has much promise. "Sweet Uncertain" could be Jefferson Airplane if they launched in 2005 instead of the '60s, liquid guitars and percussive reverberations gently holding the melodies that lead up to the hook. Though Braddigan shifts genres with ease on this pleasant collection, there's no denying the mainstream aim. The packaging is done with style, with elegant paintings by Elsie Connors on both the cover and the 16-page booklet, which make Watchfires look as special as it sounds. Braddigan has transformed himself from youthful rocker to a pop maestro chock-full of hooks, clever and compelling words, and that musical intuition so necessary to communicate his feelings to the listener. "Sweet Jah," "Fallin'" and "City on a Hill" are all so different, but they weave into this tapestry seamlessly. The instrumental "Noah's Arc" is a theme song to the surf film of the same name. It is lovely, as is the second instrumental, a hidden 11th track that is untitled. There's much to absorb on this wonderful "debut," and Brad Corrigan proves himself a craftsman able to deliver 45 minutes of music that holds up well to repeated play. Indeed, it demands those additional spins.

Watchfires, Braddigan
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