Questions – David Bronson (Big Arc Records) reviewed by Dave Franklin

folderLike many great singer-songwriters of the present day, David Bronson knows that one tried and tested trick is to present the listener with something that is new and fresh yet has enough of a familiar hallmark that it tugs on the musical memory. It is something that he pulled off on Story and it’s prequel accompanying album, The Long Lost, and it is something that he pulls off yet again on his latest album, Questions. With the presence of Iron and Wine, Cat Stevens and the ghost of Elliot Smith looking down approvingly over the core of the songs, it is how these songs are dressed and presented that makes them stand out.

 

The devil, they say, is in the detail and the detail in question here runs from sumptuous, soaring vocal harmonies that almost head off into Dark Side of The Moon territory, atmospheric dynamics that allow space for pianos to flutter through and then aim for the stars in glorious crescendos, there is even room for funky shuffles and late night reflections. Lyrically David pushes a sort of eloquent street philosophy, the thoughts and questions of everyday life made into poetic expressions, Song of Life being the albums highpoint for such existentialist musings.

 

I think this is what Van Morrison would sound like in peoples heads if they have blanked out his mumbling vocal delivery and replaced it with something that lies between clear folk club subtleties and layered west coast warmth. And I have to say, anyone who can update and improve on Van The Man is probably going to have a pretty bright future.

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