The best in his genre!
One does not simply listen to a Michael Brunnock song – one experiences it. Michael Brunnock's songs, while pleasingly smooth and unobtrusive, somehow refuse to remain "background music," and they pull the listener in to their ephemeral existence. So it is with _So I Do._
Mournful without being sad. Emotional without being "emo". Evocative without being self-indulgent.
I first heard "Fallen Leaves," about four months ago, and before the song was even complete, I knew that I had to become familiar with the entire music catalog of this artist whose name I did not yet know. More than a hundred listens later, "Fallen Leaves" is both completely ingrained in my mind and brand-new simultaneously. Each listen is as the first; the string solo employed in lieu of a bridge held me captive, and when the drums returned with brilliant force, I found myself struggling to catch the breath that I didn't even realize I was holding for the past four measures.
Michael Brunnock's performance is straight-forward and unassuming. However, don't be fool enough to dismiss this artist as a simple countryman; his lyrics reveal an intelligent and well-educated man behind his gentle melodies. Listen carefully and you will hear literary allusions, complex metaphors, and well-placed puns along with political commentary and disdain for mindless militancy.
"Little Boy Blue," perhaps the most political song in his repertoire, is also the most evocative. It employs strong imagery both lyrically and musically – one can almost picture the small orchestra backing him as he sings his complex simplicities.
"Dance to the Wind" is a beautiful piece which displays both Brunnock's impressive vocal diversity and his imaginative lyric writing; the anthropomorphic song is told from the point of view of a wise old tree in a tale reminiscent of Dr. Seuss's _The Lorax._
Not to be dismissed as a minstrel, Brunnock pulls "Born Again" and "Niagara Falls" from up his sleeve, showing that he can rock with the best of them.
Jenna Nichols's backing vocals on "Man Overboard" and "Breastplate" both blend with and complement Brunnock's voice seamlessly. Nichols's airy vocals at the end of the penultimate of the original tunes somehow punctuate the mood of the album.
Michael Brunnock revamps "Secret," a powerful song from his days with Little Palace, to round out the CD, convincingly evidencing that he is fully capable as a solo artist.
One would be hard-pressed to find a more well-pieced collection of songs that satisfy both the spirit and the intellect. _So I Do_ does so both humbly and almost with a shrug. Brunnock is not out to please anyone with his offering – it is clearly a labour of love.
A breath of fresh air!!!
Michael's voice is angelic. His comparison to other artists who have made it in the music business is not only a fine compliment to Michael, but to those artists as well. His songs are beautifully hypnotic, and soothing. He is one of those rare musicians that must be experienced live to truly appreciate the quality and clarity of his voice, his songs, his music. Every single person I introduce to his music, becomes a fan.