Prepare to be dazzled


Prepare to be dazzled. Brooks’ brand of power pop deserves widespread attention and acclaim. He’s wondrously winning and versatile, both as a songwriter and as a vocalist. Backed by terrific musicians, he delivers 11 tunes that grab the listener right from the intro and become more deeply ingrained with each listening. He opens with the soulfully celebratory “Calling Everyone,” merging the energies of Big Star and Van Morrison. “Spinner & The Spun” is a mover you’ll want to keep spinning. “Will It Be Enough” has the kind of aching country-rock magic that Foster & Lloyd used to conjure, with a bit of a Gram Parsons’ lilt. “Night Fades” is the kind of lushly lovely composition and production Jeff Lynne used to do so well. “Farewell to Folderol” is another beauty, and one of the all-time great song titles. Throughout, Brooks summons Beatles vibes, building on McCartney’s rocking hooks, Harrison’s fluid guitar lines and Lennon’s psychedelic flourishes. There are suggestions of Nilsson, as well. The final number, “Grand Manner,” lowers the curtain in gorgeous style. Brooks is an exceptionally literate songwriter, fashioning highly sophisticated pop. You won’t find a weak track here – each is an expertly crafted work. Despite all the classic rock influences, Brooks’ music takes many surprising turns, making it his and his alone. It’s unfathomable why he remains a cult figure while far lesser talents squander the spotlight. Do yourself a favor and discover this amazing album.