Tom Brosseau displays his skills on the acoustic guitar, with his first solo release in 5 years and his 7th album, to once again pull the emotional strings of listeners, taking an ironic look at contemporary life and love.
The 37 year old from Grand Forks, North Dakota has been on the scene for 15 years, delighting audiences with his collection of easy listening recordings, and his most recent album ‘Grass Punks’ released in January, continues that trend.
‘Cradle your device’ for me is the stand-out track on the album, combining classic rock strumming with a folky eloquence, displaying contemporary lyrics about a lover who looks at their phone instead of showing compassion. It is also perhaps the most memorable track alongside the sing-along opening ‘We were meant to be together’.
Combining the melodic lines of Cat Stevens and Ralph McTell, Tom’s mysterious chords add a depth of feeling from the poignant lows expressed in ‘Stuck on the roof again’, to the uplifting sense of hope ‘Today is a bright new day’.
The album as a collective however, seems incomplete for me with certain songs missing the mark in terms of concept. ‘Love High John the Conqueror root’ despite displaying dexterity in his style of playing, appears disjointed to the nature of the album alongside ‘Green shampoo’, which sounds like a filler. His final song ‘I love to play guitar’ also appears as a self-absorbed add-on rather than a meaningful addition to the album.
Nevertheless his interesting chords and witty, powerful lyrics make the album a definite recommendation to modern listeners of all kinds of music.