BB Press Release “Harmony of Passing Light”
2012 is a great time to be from the Bay Area, and with the release of his record, “Harmony Of Passing Light” Brooks joins his peers with the best work of his career. Packed with one great song after another, “Harmony” is a deeply moving, highly entertaining record.
This is Brooks’ first release since 2007’s Spill Collateral Love, a sprawling, ambitious record across a vast canvas. With “Harmony Of Passing Light” Brooks has sacrificed none of the melodic brilliance and inventiveness of his previous work, but here presents a streamlined, completely accessible suite of songs, with lyrics that pack a punch on first listen and stay with you. It’s reminiscent of Skylarking-era XTC and Summerteeth-era Wilco in its melodic, broad interpretation of what a rock album can and should sound like while still feeling intimate and personal, and a hybrid of the best instincts of Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, and the orchestral sophistication of Queen.
Brooks’ gift for melody and his soaring vocals remain the most immediately impressive traits of his music. Brooks’ voice can wail like a blue-eyed soul singer, whisper plaintively, croon with just a touch of twang, or soar through the most demanding melodic acrobatics, and he pulls off all of these different guises on “Harmony” without the record sounding disjointed. Rather, it’s an album with multiple textures that still feels unified.
Produced by Paul Hoaglin (Mother Hips) & Shay Scott (Klickitat Band Camp), along with David Simon Baker (Mother Hips, Jackie Greene, ALO) it also features former Cake drummer Todd Roper
Highlights are plentiful– the psychedelic-meets-Motown bounce of leadoff track “Calling Everyone” to the plaintive “Will It Be Enough,” the driving rock of “Spinner And The Spun” to the soaring balladry of “Night Fades” and “Grand Manner,” as well as “Bumbelina,” (which you’ll be involuntarily singing for weeks) this album reveals a brilliant vocalist and songwriter at the top of his game.
The album’s emotional center is “Farewell To Folderol.” Perhaps the track most similar to Brooks’ previous work, it shows his growth as a songwriter. Brooks chooses his colors carefully throughout the epic, 6 minute track, and the result is a song that builds to a delirious height and is a perfect metaphor for Brooks’ growth as an artist. As the song says, Brooks has decided to “Sell what we borrowed / donate what we stole / leave this town.”
Brooks has found the essence of his own unique voice, and been one of the Bay Area’s best-kept secrets for years. This album should change all that