This CD “In My Younger Dreams” by Arkansas’ own Brandon White is sure to one day be remembered as one of the classic good timing Americana-Alt Rock CD’s of recent time. Its pure rocking Americana magic the way it used to be, full of cautionary tales, and a passion for life and life on the road. All of this describes White to a “T”, So who is Brandon White? Well in my own words: He’s a songwriter who draws on life experiences from both the interior and exterior vantage point.” His narrative lyrics and sincere performances offer an unobstructed view into the heart of an artist who embraces each moment. In 2012 Brandon began work on his second full length album. An album born from the need for distraction, “In My Younger Dreams” finds White finding a comfortable middle ground between the more tender musings of “Streetlight Lullabies” and the powerful rock of “A Win For Both Sides”. From track 1 ”Straight Shooter” to the final moments of the title track this latest 9 track release hits on all cylinders with a fun musical landscape full of power and happy go luck overtones. Some songs are about lost love no doubt while others are about life’s sweet victory. One thing that impressed me the most about this album/band is the sheer impassioned Alt-Rock-folk vibe one gets. There’s an Alternative Rock ambience that really sucks in the listener, but also hints of Acoustic-Rock-Pop. The CD is professional grade any way you look at it — very professional sounding. The instrumentation and tones give you that genuine feel of good music and writing from a generation ago. It also has a solid feel reminiscent of Alternative Rock popular in the early nineties as well. White reminds me of Gig Blossoms, Jesse Malin, Justin Townes Earle, Wilco, Neal Casal, and Jason Isbell. Despite this I can also hear more modern Amos Lee, Joe Purdy, Alexi Murdoch, David Gray and Brett Dennen. All members in his band are solid musically. Kudos goes out to the amazing playing – the proof is in the picking. I also always said you can sell what you don’t truly believe, in this aspect White seals the deal and captures some Lighting in a Bottle via his amazing vocal touch that will ring true not only for older more experienced listeners but new ones as well.
My favorite tracks: “Take my time”, Straight Shooter” and the title track.
Criticism: I recommend White narrow the fairway a bit with respect to his overall sound. From Gig Blossoms to Amos Lee — it’s a bit wide and this CD covers too much ground in its attempt to everything to everyone. It spreads itself way to thin across too many genres.
“In My Younger Dreams” wraps up a well rounded 11 track line-up that delivers an interesting cross section of classic Americana Alt-Rock, and Classic Pop-Rock. Once again – despite this it is accessible to modern day listeners as well. How is this possible? Only an experienced artist armed with an honest, genuine, sincere approach like White can pull it off. I know I said it before but White is backed up by some solid players, with solid production instincts, a sincere writer’s touch and an acoustic guitar he proves where there is smoke there is fire. Need I say more?
Score: 3.5/5 Stars