As I was listening to the exceptional new album by Brittany Myers entitled Rather Be I couldn’t help but give a little snicker when I read that she prefers to refer to her music as "sad acoustic bullshit.” First off I love people who don’t take themselves too seriously and secondly only close-minded people who have closed off their emotions would call this music bullshit. While this music is sad and acoustic it is also rather beautiful, hopeful and wraps you in a cocoon of solace that works intrinsically with the melancholy on the album.
Rather Be is a polished album with lush instrumentation and production but it all plays second fiddle to Myers’ voice. Her voice draws you in as strains of varied emotions are delivered in the nuances of the words she sings. Whether it’s just an acoustic guitar and her vocals or a more flushed out production her voice is the anchor that holds the foundation to these songs.
The album begins with a very well written song entitled “Manchester and Sepulveda.” She combines her vocals with a male counterpoint and that makes for a varied and dynamic performance. I personally felt that he had just had a bit too much of singing time for an opener but that’s me. Nonetheless, they sound great when their voices combines and the instrumentation is some of the best on the album.
The second track “Rather Be” is a stripped down affair revolving around her vocals, an acoustic guitar and a violin. Apparently, Brittany Myers has more in common with Tom Waits than I thought. She sings, “Drinking so much whiskey can’t remember when I was sober Got no one to keep me warm except the feeling of this bottle.”
The arguable highlight of the album is the upbeat “First Degree.” Myers sounds better than ever with some optimism in her voice and the song could easily be something you would hear on the radio.
Rather Be is an ambitious album at twelve songs but it doesn’t disappoint. Myers mixes it up quite often in regards to the instrumentation and energy within the songs making for an enjoyable journey.
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