Brett Wiscons – Late Bloomer
While the showcase doesn’t feature anything innovative musically the recording is jubilant on the opener “Vertical City.” Indianapolis-based vocalist Brett Wiscons has energy & enthusiasm & though it’s formulaic in its inception it’s eminently listenable & enjoyable. “Wall Tall” sounds modeled after such artists as Marc Cohn & John Hiatt. Diluted just a tad with an 80s confection similar to Richard Marx & Corey Hart but that’s not to say Brett knows how to apply savoring touches. He does.
Vocally, don’t expect Jim Morrison or Elvis but do expect vocals that have personality. The songs are not intense but have a grain of attractiveness in the presentation. “Late Bloomer,” is well-thought-out & avoids the pitfalls of sugary melodies & generates some sparks. It’s still basically pop-rock but thankfully no “Eye of the Tiger” pablum.
Produced by Tom Dougherty (guitars/bass/mellotron/background vocals) the 10-cut, 35-minute CD Late Bloomer (Mad Diamond Entertainment) is scheduled for release on July 13. The set finds Brett mixing up his repertoire wisely. “Deja You,” is a gimmickry ballad — yet even the missteps have a good feeling about them. Wiscons sings with sincerity. There are no downsides. Extreme care was taken in the production. The sound as laid down is well-conceived & the instruments are captured dramatically.
What colorizes several songs is the added “under the surface” female vocal that adds a nice soulful touch. “Collection of Hearts,” is a fine song, beautiful except for the vocal enhancement on Brett’s voice. No additional embellishment is needed since this song is genuinely soulful, naturally. The children’s chorus is good & the string section at the end is a wonderful touch.
For the most part, Wiscons effectively applies his voice to a wide variety of pop styles. “When You Can’t Breathe,” hovers close to headlines — comes close without being too pompous. What isn’t established as yet is a Brett Wiscons style. The songs are all fine-tuned but when you cruise the rim of controversy with the prior song then slip into a cliché rich repetitious pop confection like “Let’s Do It, Again” — the vocalist’s signature becomes blurred.
The musicians are all excellent & backup singers solid. The effort is more upbeat than most music produced today. Wiscons wisely constructed his LP in a way that despite their subjects & limitations won’t date as quickly as his competition. Brett may have been a “late bloomer,” but this collection was worth the wait. There are more tasty jellybeans here than marbles.
The band is – Niko Albanese (drums), Steve Potaczek (keys/accordion), Kadell Randle Jr. (keys), Mark Bryan (mandolin), Craig Shields (sax), Seth Jenkins (slide guitar), Mark Evitts (string arrangement), Brett (vocals), Sarah Scharbrough McLaughlin, Rachel McGaye & Megan Campbell (background vocals).
Color image & CD cover image by Will Byington. Purchase @ http://www.brettwiscons.com/