Darrin Bradbury “Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs” (ANTI-, 2019)

It takes a keen eye to spot the profound wrapped up inside the everyday. Darrin Bradbury has a very keen eye and he puts it to good use. Others have drawn comparisons between Bradbury’s songwriting and the work of John Prine or Guy Clark. It’s probably worth throwing the likes of Ray Wylie Hubbard, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson, and Warren Zevon into that mix. A keen eye, a dark sense of humour, and a talent for turning a phrase can go a long way.

It takes courage to cast off the chains of formulaic songwriting. There are standards for radio play and radio play makes songwriters money. There are audience expectations . . . catchy hooks, guitar solos, and just-right bridges that grab listeners by their ears. But sometimes, what is true to the song doesn’t line up with what is right for the radio.

This is an album full of songs where Bradbury chose the song over everything else. It might not find a broad audience (although it would be great if it did) but it’s guaranteed to convert some strangers into life-long fans.

Each song is like a dare. Each song tells a truth.
7/10

Author: Steven Rafferty

Writer, Musician, Political Junkie, Oilfield Hand in Recovery . . .

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