Brittan Church Music is a Texas, Alternative/Rock musician who has been playing the guitar and writing music for about eight years now. His dream is to create music, give his gift to the world, and provide an escape from stress for his listeners. Though Brittan is currently preparing his brand new, upcoming album, R.E.D., set for release around about the 14th of March this year, we are currently reviewing his 10-track debut from last year, entitled EXILE.
Brittan Church Music’s first solo work has plenty ‘ups’ and maybe one ‘down’. It is an all-round good listen, and is particularly inspiring in places, with Brittan’s powerfully sounding voice frequently haunting and rummaging the melodies. With EXILE, Brittan realizes his potential. Proving he can be a legitimate solo artist, branching out to do his own thing.
To get the, ‘one down’ out of the way quickly, I need to say that the opening track Fur’Elise, though well executed, should really have nothing to do with this otherwise gratifying album, or at the very least should be the last track in this collection…almost an afterthought. This is obviously my personal, biased views, as I’m sure Brittan has a specific reason for putting it where it is.
***(As an afterthought, to all artists): Having worked in the industry for over twenty years, I have come to understand how important the order of the track selection on any album can be. Almost all indie artists (and many major label stars) underestimate the importance the opening track has, in setting the pace, tone and atmosphere of the entire album. If you’re a new artist, especially on your debut, the rule is to always put your strongest track – the one that encompasses your overall talent – as the opener. This is the track that with all probability will induce listeners into hastily (mis)judging, within the first 60 seconds, the overall content of what you have to offer in an entire album. This simply means, if your art is singing and playing; don’t kick the album off with an instrumental or a capella. You’ll be denying your future fanbase something.***
Okay having said that, from track two, “Never Give Up”, this album becomes awesome as Brittan kicks in with his moody trademark vocals. There isn’t a single song that disappoints from this point on. My favorites being “Apparition”, “Got To Go”, the full rock sound of “Sudden Death” and “For My People”, the mesmerizing “Half Empty Cup” and the closing track “Under Water”.
If you like Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden etc., it will be hard for you to dislike what Brittan Church Music has accomplished on his debut here. EXILE is one of those albums that sounds good the first time through, but gets even better with each playing. Most of the songs are stripped-down and bare, with guitar strumming and vocals as accompaniment. Brittan has a great voice and it matches with the six-strings so very well, that the arrangements don’t really need much else.
EXILE is for those who have a longing for intimate, stripped down, breathtaking music, and it doesn’t get much better than this. That said, there are still some songs where Brittan Church Music churns out some rocking riffs and rhythms. I’m very keen to hear where Brittan will take us, with R.E.D.
…oh and by the way, I would have kicked this album off, with “Half Empty Cup”, it’s really so strong and my personal favorite!