Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Billy Bronsted -- This Bed of Mine

Billy Bronsted's album is a force to be reckoned with. You get the sense that, when Bronsted was working on This Bed of Mine, the dam burst and a flood of songs finally found their way out. While Bronsted's album covers a large swathe of Americana, he's most at home with lush fingerpicking buttressing grander stories. This Bed of Mine shows Bronsted to be a prolific songwriter with an eye for unique perspectives. "The 13th of July," the album's opener, is a disarming and perceptive character study using the character's birthday as a focal point. Likewise, "A Zealous and Reckless Approach" encapsulates new love with some fresh (to me) imagery and turns of phrases that make even the most commonplace of musical themes exciting.

Bronsted's greatest strength is his use of language to create a unique palate that evokes a wide range of emotions. However, as a word of gentle critique, I think the album overall could have used a bit of editing. This Bed of Mine feels like a collection of strong songs, but because the songs so ambitiously cover a wide range of topics and genres, it doesn't feel as if there's a unifying thread. That's fine if you want to just skip around the album or add a few to your playlist -- there are a lot of excellent moments on here. But I worry that those moments can be obfuscated by the sheer volume of everything else surrounding it. Overall, This Bed of Mine is an excellent start in what I hope is a long songwriting career ahead of Bronsted.

Billy Bronstead -- Official, Facebook, Purchase from Billy Bronsted

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