Dean Brody is kind of a big deal in Canadian Country Music at the moment. Not only has he been winning musical awards and accolades left, right and centre, he’s also been voted in as one of HELLO! Canada’s most beautiful Canadians. So he’s good looking and talented, some people have all the luck eh?
Working at a sawmill and practicing guitar when he could, Dean finally made the gutsy move to Nashville in 2004 to pursue his musical career, and since then has produced three albums, moved back to Canada and about to release his fourth record, Crop Circles.
The album is littered with great tracks throughout, and Dean has definitely learned from his previous albums how to craft a perfect song. Four Wheel Drive starts us off, a self-depreciating ditty with a spattering of comedy and even a little innuendo to enjoy. In the end he gets the girl because of his car, classic country stuff, lyrically reminiscent of Johnny Cash. Bounty is one of the strongest tracks on the record, with a welcome cameo from the beautiful Lindi Ortega, another of Canada’s rising country stars. “I’m a lover not a fighter” sings Brody as the song builds up into a rolling drum beat and fiddles kick in to get you tapping your foot and heading to your nearest country bar.
Mountain Man is another lyrically strong track, with Brody singing of life in the wilderness and again using hints of comedy to bring a wry smile to your face, telling a city girl “if you had to you could eat a squirrel”. Another Man’s Gold is a nice country ballad and the folky Marianne works well, sounding like Coldplay gone country.
Crop Circles is an album of subtle nuances. One minute it will be full on country, the next there will be a pop feel about it, and before you know it you’re entering territory that country has barely ventured into. The first half of the album is defiantly testament to this with tracks such as Sand In My Soul, a country song with surprising reggae influences, the two genres rarely meeting in the past. Brody sings of “Working on my tan with a drink in my hand” giving the listener a strange image of a cowboy chilling out on a beach. The song actually works quite well however, and gives the record a bit of zest.
Album-titled track Crop Circles doesn’t do so well in the genre crossing, with a breakdown sounding a little heavy metal, and peculiar lyrics about UFO’s. The song feels a little disjointed and it was a strange idea to make the track stand out more by naming the album after it. My Last Broken Heart starts off great but simmers down way too quickly which is a shame because it had the makings of a decent song.
Crop Circles manages to mostly please throughout and Brody’s lyrics are the strongest they’ve ever been. He has to be commended for the different styles he tries throughout the album, even if it doesn’t work in one or two places. Dean Brody reaffirms his Country king of Canada credentials with Crop Circles and leaves the listener wanting to hear more from the singer, and hopefully soon.
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