07 January 2013 (released)
12 January 2013
This is a complex and personal album from David Bronson, a New York songwriter and producer. He has just finished a 22 song cycle which will become two albums, and Story is the first.
Kicking of with The Turns an acoustic lead over which Bronson relates the breakdown of a relationship. It’s a brave move lyrically; musically the song slowly builds picking up instruments as it progresses. Oddly Rush like at times it very much sets up the tone of the album: richly instrumented, lushly produced and with a tendency to forget that sometimes less can be more.
The Times follows and, for a second or two, it could be Rupert Holmes, Pina Colada song. It’s actually very good AOR with a psychedelic tint to it. If continues the solid start with a plaintive intro into another slice of American contemporary lounge rock with lots of guitars and harmonies. With Easier, Bronson takes us to the Country, with a touch of Americana.
It’s all beautifully performed, produced and presented but after a while, as we pass the single Momentary, and head towards the end it does get a bit cloying. Every song is so glossed that it’s rendered almost sterile, and frankly a bit dull. Adrift in particular is horrible. That’s not to say that the songs are bad, the album closes with Outside and Unending which are two of the albums strongest cuts.
Outside is a bizarre Country/Pink Floyd hybrid that works. Unending featuring a duet with Maria Neckham – who appears throughout the album – is a gentle, meandering song, with proggy overtones, that just about survives the end of song guitar solo fuzz. It has to be mentioned that, to these ears, Bronson’s vocals are on the fragile side and a bit of an acquired taste.
It’s a multi-layered work and after a few listens does give things up and it’s possible to warm to it. But more from a point of admiration rather than being taken by it in any emotional sense. This is hardly surprising from any album that is so personal and cathartic to the performer. Having said that, it will be interesting to hear the completion of this project when the second album is released.