Brendan & the Strangest Ways sing with heart and soul on their spirited self-titled debut. Lyrics are pitch perfect as they reveal a keen talent for storytelling. Over the course of the album the songs depict a life lived most fully. A sense of reassurance comes from the way these songs look back on the trials and tribulations of a life. The arrangements are done in just the right way with a fine mixture of Americana, folk, and a little bit of country. Rather restrained at times, the album has a conversational, tone to it.
“Any Road They Can Unwind” opens the album off with a sense of defiance. The way the song unfurls is quite magnificent as it grows in size and scope. Earnest to its very core is the cinematic “One Dilemma at a Time” whose highly articulate lyrics help to create a compelling atmosphere. Giddy in nature is the tender ballad of “Only You”. Easily the highlight of the album the way the song’s lovely message comes together gives it a naturalistic style to it. Stripping things down to the essentials is the reverent “Kaye”. With a fantastic intermingling of guitar and fiddle is the beautiful “Everyman”. Reflective and quite expansive is the gorgeous “Empty Rooms”. Closing the album off on a satisfying note is the slow buildup of “Blind”.
Timeless, tasteful, and infinitely inviting Brendan & the Strangest Ways self-titled debut is a true delight.
By Beach Sloth