Home

IMD Mission Statement

Artist Services

CD Reviews

Song Reviews

Interviews

Live Reviews

How to Submit a CD

How to Submit a Song

IMD Music Critics

Join the IMD Team

Testimonials

Advertise with us

Partners

Links

Contact us

 

 

MD Pro Assessments

Music Business Essays

Gig's & Beyond

Studio Recording

Mixing

Mastering

CD Distribution

Radio Airplay

Press Packs

A&R Exposure

Music Placement

Movies & Film Exposure

 

 

 

 

 

 

CD REVIEW: Casey Brandt - Restless as the Sun
By
J.D. Stefan

 

 

 

**********

Artist: Casey Brandt
Album: Restless as the Sun
Label: In
dependent Artist
Websit
e: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/CaseyBrandt
Genre: Acoustic Rock/Lo-Fi/Indie
Sounds Like:
Technical Grade: 5/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 5/10
Commercial Value: 4/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 6/10
Performance Skill: 5/10
Best Songs: Restless as the Sun
Weakness: Loose performances, lo-fi vibe is not for everyone

 

CD REVIEW:  

Based in Southern Maryland, Casey Brandt released Restless as the Sun in 2008 on his own Mungler Winslowe label started with his wife in 2001.  At the time of this release, Restless as the Sun was the 11th release by Brandt on the Mungler Winslowe label.  Info was found at CDBaby as there was no information about this particular CD found on the Mungler Winslowe site.

The album opens with “The Only Thing Changing is You”.  The intro is a wee bit reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” given the distant quality of the intro acoustic guitar and sound field of insects buzzing.  Brandt produced and recorded the CD in his basement and there’s a definite loose DIY quality to the recording that suits the music.  The songs have a folksy vibe and despite Brandt’s location in Maryland evoke more open western spaces with a bit of old country feel.  Brandt’s arrangements are simple but make effective use of different instrumentation and some interesting drum beats on occasion.  The ukulele is introduced on “Ice Storm” and I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the song’s title with an instrument commonly associated with tropical islands.  “Love is a Word” takes a bit of turn with a nod towards 60’s psychedelic rock in the choruses via some interesting filter effects on the guitar.  Clean, jangly electric guitar mixes with well-recorded acoustic guitars and harmonica and banjo make some welcome appearances as well.  The overall production of the CD is varied and interesting giving each song its own character while Brandt’s slightly twangy vocal stylings provide a cohesiveness that ties everything together.  The recording quality is clear and consistent with a mix that allows every instrument to be heard.  Standout Favorite tracks were “The Only Thing Changing is You”, Drifting On” and the closing track “Restless as the Sun” evoking visions of riding off into a western sunset.  The CD cover is rather intriguing and is kept simple and much like the music, it works well.

“Restless as the Sun” is not going to be radio-friendly and at home in the commercial market.  The performances are loose and there are some intonation issues here and there in the vocals and guitar work.  The mix isn’t going to blow anyone away or be known for stellar quality and the songs don’t have over-the-top choruses you’ll be singing in your head all day long.  That said, none of those issues really apply and certainly weren’t goals in the making of this CD.  Brandt’s lyrics contain a lot of imagery and are often heart-felt.  The loose performances and vibe create a mood that matches perfectly with Brandt’s slightly tired-sounding, reverb-tinged vocals.  This is a collection of songs that wouldn’t necessarily benefit from polished production and spot-on performances.  In fact, such an approach would remove all the things that make this album work. There are no other musicians credited on the CD and what information I could find makes it apparent that this is a one-man effort.  I appreciate Brandt’s ability to make it feel quite a bit like a casual band rather than a sterile overdubbed result.  Producing a CD of this type is either done very well with intention or stumbled on inadvertently.  In this case I feel that it’s certainly the former. 

I like “Restless as the Sun”.  It’s something that seems would be appropriate as the soundtrack to some indie film or perhaps a modern take on a spaghetti western featuring some of those classic wide-open western landscapes.  Listening to this CD makes me want to check out some of Casey Brandt’s other work.  While this probably isn’t a CD for everyone, it’s perfect for a lazy Sunday morning or a late night under headphones.  If you like jangly guitars, low-key vocals and a relaxed, loose vibe you might find this CD worth checking out in an era of perfectly tuned and produced music.  Keep following your own beat Casey, it suits you well.

J.D. Stefan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home

IMD Mission Statement

CD Reviews

Song Reviews

Interviews

Live Reviews

How to Submit a CD

How to Submit a Song

IMD Music Critics

Join the IMD Team

IMD Pro Assessments

Music Business Essays

Gig's & Beyond

Studio Recording

Mixing

Mastering

CD Distribution

Radio Airplay

Press Packs

A&R Exposure

 

All materials copywrite of www.imdiemusicdigest.com. (c) 2007-2009 Indie Music Reviews. All Rights Reserved