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Music Review: Band Of The Week – Cary Brothers

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Cary Brothers music has been featured on TV and in film, most notably Scrubs and Garden State. His music is not what some people may expect if the first song they hear is Brothers first and biggest hit, “Blue Eyes” from the Garden State Soundtrack. Where “Blue Eyes” is a singer/songwriter, folk pop tune, the songs on Who You Are are guitar driven indie rock. Other than Brothers signature quixotically emotional themes and “orgasm” style of song writing – not my words but his, honestly – “Blue Eyes” and Who You Are have little in common.

CB B&WWho You Are is more Brit rock, with leanings to the modern sounds of Coldplay and Snow Patrol, coloured with the influences of Brothers teenagehood from the late 80s like, U2, The Psychedelic Furs and Scritti Politi. Brothers has even remade the Thompson Twins hit “If You Were Here”, stripping it back, finding the hidden depth in this now timeless song.

The first track “Jealousy” is a wondrous beginning to a prodigious album, giving, as it does, the perfect tastes of everything that makes Brothers music stand out from the crowd. Brothers’ almost orchestral layering of sounds, his silky smooth vocals, plaintively pouring out sentimental lyrics all swirling together, crescendoing to orgasmic heights. Brothers’ voice exudes a warm sensuality, and romanticisms that is absolutely necessary when singing music that is so passionately felt and hungrily listened to.

Following on from the sublime perfection of “Jealousy” is “Ride”, from the feature film The Last Kiss, with Brothers self-same symphonic textures, he builds, layer upon layer, a richly woven sound that seems to carry you away in the deep blue of the water, lying on your back, floating beautifully, peacefully as you crash over Niagara Falls.

The title track, “Who You are”, is faster, stronger, less ballad – although all of BrothersCary wistful songs are ballad-esque – but still present are the strong melodies that underpin the whole of Who You Are, and his perfectly balanced, velvety voice that is simultaneously substantive and diaphanous. Other tracks of note – well every track on the album, irritatingly there isn’t a bad song on Who You Are, leaving me nothing to complain about – “Honestly”, with its acoustic guitar beginning and elegantly simple feelings; “The Last One” feels like The Psychedelic Furs, came back from oblivion with an updated sound and better vocals.

“The Loneliest Girl In The World”’s beautiful piano and heartachingly poignant lyrics will make you yearn for whatever Brothers wants you to yearn for. “Think Awhile” a song about arguing, walking and smoking. And finally “Precious Life” about the power of love to inspire and transform, sung with heartrending emotive precision. And “Blue Eyes” is thrown on as an extra track, just for creative comparison.

There is nothing about Who You Are that is slip-shod or economical. Brothers has filled this his full-length debut, with luxurious, sensuous, serene music, sparing nothing in the making. Stunning in its magnitude and scope, Who You Are has quickly won my heart with its richly textured sounds, creamy smooth guitar, gorgeous synth and honeyed vocals.

If you would like to hear Brothers, Who You Are it’s available at his MySpace space. Who You Are is available from both Amazon.com (by following the link on this page) and iTunes.

Below is the video for “Ride”, from Brothers new album Who You Are and also on the sound track for The Last Kiss.

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About A.L. Harper