The Day is Brave
by Noel Wurst
Brendan James doesn’t really care about gaining your daughter’s attention, but he certainly wants yours. While certainly appearing/sounding young, the melancholy nature of nearly all of his songs is going to fly over the heads (and cares) of all the little girls who worship these singer songwriter types, but it’s striking older women right in the heart, and earning him legions of fans among them.
The Day is Brave is the kind of album that you could blindly pluck any song from it, and drop it right into any TV drama (this stuff SCREAMS Dawson’s Creek) and it’s going to go over like gangbusters. The same goes for any coffee shop, romantic comedy film, Christmas tree lighting ceremony, etc. I can’t see a lot of it succeeding on the radio, but who listens to the radio anymore anyway?
The track “The Other Side” delightfully strays from the flock; it’s slightly similar to Elliott Smith’s later work. The rest of the album is a bit heavy-handed, but so is the entire singer/songwriter genre, and to James’ credit, his songs are better than 99% of what’s currently out there.
Brendan James comes across like a little more accessible, less snooty Josh Grobin. James is singing with Carly Simon, Grobin’s singing with Celine Dion. There’s a sticker on the front of The Day is Brave with a quote from Carly Simon, proclaiming that James’ voice will “change the world.” Lofty praise indeed, but what I imagine is sadly going through millions of heads that may read that sticker, is “Who’s Carly Simon?”