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Rattle Their Chains

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iTunes Review

For Rattle Their Chains, the fourth album by Texas songwriter Brian Wright, a strong backup band adds the camaraderie and muscle that was arguably missing from the excellent House on Fire, where Wright accompanied himself on a laundry list of instruments. Thanks to this added firepower, a song like “We Don’t Live There” bursts to life with neat lyrical observations about his old Hollywood neighborhood, where he saw his share of crafty characters who feel more dangerous in retrospect. A double-tracked tune like “Hear What I Want” has a looseness that relieves the carefully sculpted quieter moments. Songs like “Red Rooster Social Club” and “Weird Winter” need their relief for the stories to stand out and not get lost in a constant flurry of literary moments. Besides, as a tune like “Face of the Earth” shows, Wright’s a solid country singer when playing that part, too.

Customer Reviews

Brilliant... But Overproduced (4.5 stars)

Brian Wright is the best contemporary singer-songwriter I've heard in the last ten years. His strongest asset is his story-telling, which at times can be overpowered by the excessive instruments and overproducton. But instead of whine, I 'd rather recognize great songwriting and support great art.

A Battle of Familiar and Comfortable

In my reckoning Brian lays claim to many near flawless works. Crafting genuine stories from across the American landscape. Depicting unique individuals who have been both a blip on the radar and eternally epiphanic in their brief presence. Charming lyrics that paint complete pictures of the flaws within all of us and highlighting the inevitable heartbreak that only a finite life can appease.

RATTLE THEIR CHAINS lacks much of the moody and raw cohesiveness from previous albums that culminated in HOUSE ON FIRE. The experience seems muted both in the tonal quality of the recording and the content presented. Like a picture of a photograph the separation between story, storyteller and listener seems stretched in a way not present in previous work.

RATTLE THEIR CHAINS is not without moments of pause and introspection for listeners. Weird Winter starts a transition for the album. The theme gravitates to familiar territory both in lyrical content and song structures. Bouncing, yet dark saloon-styled piano lined with horns and choirs. Rich stand-up bass plucked through by the pang of a banjo.

YOU GOT IT ALL seems like a natural progression from lyrics of MORNING CIGARETTE: "you know we'd probably live forever, we just follow the plan". The track unwinds as if displaying an acceptance that life won't provide any answers. A perfect lead in to the self-reflexive motif of ROSALEE, a title that is both new and familiar. A song that searches for a definition of an individual and crescendos in a new sound for Brian that conveys a high level of elation. Possibly the strongest section of the album.

I can't remember another time where Brian has stripped down and sang directly to his audience in the same way that the does in LOVE MY LITTLE BABY. This track is a fitting ending to the album. An album battling between the familiar and the comfort of that familiarity.

Please don't let this be the only Brian Wright album you own. Let this be the Brian Wright album that ties a bow on his works to date. At least while we wait for more music to unwrap.


Born: Waco, TX

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An intelligent and thoughtful songwriter, Brian Wright was born in Mclennan County, Texas, near the highway and the trains, as he recalls it, perhaps explaining why he feels so at home on the road. Wright spent his twenties playing the Austin/Dallas bar circuit, eventually moving west to Los Angeles, becoming a fixture in that music scene, as well, with his band, Brian Wright & the Waco Tragedies. After releasing two albums, Bluebird and Dog Ears, Wright broke through to the...
Full Bio
Rattle Their Chains, Brian Wright
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Customer Ratings