REVIEW – Donny Brown of the Verve Pipe – Donny Brown (Something Else Reviews)

Solo outings by members of successful bands rarely meet the expectations of the public. But there are isolated instances where such recordings do not disappoint.

Enter Donny Brown, whose role in the Verve Pipe certainly requires no explanation. In 2014, the gifted Michigan, Lansing based singer, songwriter and mercurial instrumentalist released his first solo effort, Hess Street, an EP that satisfied Verve Pipe fans to the core.

Donny’s follow-up EP, 2015’s Donny Brown, maintains the mood and essence of his debut disc, while still having the smarts to stretch his vision and vocabulary. Shimmering with standard popisms, Donny’s vocals are clear and precise, which are stunningly compatible with his potent melodies and jeweled arrangements.

Robed in ringing guitars and sun-bleached hooks, “Now You Can Break My Heart” flickers with clingy pop gestures each breath and note of the way, flashes of psychedelic foliage emerge on the slinky sitar-studded “14 Days,” and the melancholic Badfinger-styled impressions of “Just A Friend” weave together heart-stopping piano work with bluesy six-string samplings in dazzling harmony.

Every cut on Donny Brown is executed in a sincere and sure-footed manner. Both the sound and production of the record is clean and crisp, lending the songs a glow that lifts the spirits and calls for never-ending listens.

Those enamored of folks like Crowded House, Matthew Sweet and of course the Verve Pipe, are strongly urged to add this great record to their collections. A real triumph from an artist whose intuition and instincts are thoroughly developed, Donny Brown bottles all that is good and noble about genuine pop music.

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