Jeff Brodnax – Forcing Me To Bend (CD)

“Angel” has Jeff Brodnax create an intriguing composition. Where most vocals have only one duty (to further the narrative of the track), Brodnax’s take on an added responsibility. During this track, the vocals are charged with providing extra harmony, melding with the rest of the instrumentation and creating a track that touches upon such acts as Pink Floyd and Radiohead, even as the narrative part of the vocals take on a more John Maher type of composition.

This trend continues into “Forcing Me To Bend”’s second track, “Flower”. “Flower” is the sort of song that will stick with listeners long after the disc is put up; the disc’s four and a half minute runtime goes by only too quickly as Brodnax’s vocals send listener on the softest of clouds. The titular track melds together contemplative guitar work with soulful vocals, making for a track that will touch listeners in two distinct ways. It is this title track that acts as a microcosm of the larger album: each song on “Forcing Me To Bend” allows listeners to interpret and enjoy it in a variety of ways. “It’s Only Air” steps the instrumentation up as the vocals approach the style and quality of a Prince. The guitar work stands out as the pinnacle of the track; while simple, it provides the perfect meaty element for listeners to gorge themselves on. Relating to that, kudos has to go out to Brodnax himself for providing his listeners with more than enough in the way of material on “Forcing Me To Bend”: the average track length here in well in the four minute mark.

Note well that the quality of the tracks on the disc does not decline in the slightest, and later tracks like “Homecoming” and “Peculiar Ways” are two tracks that I continually find myself coming back to when this CD is in its changer. One final note: “If He Was A Star” is a sleeper track, if not only for the storytelling that takes place during the track. Over the course of about four minutes, Brodnax tells a story with the same skill of a Bob Dylan, all while setting it to music that properly highlights every important part of this narrative. After listening to the disc’s big tracks, wind down this track and you will be surprised at how nuanced this tale truly is.

Top Tracks: It’s Only Air, Angel

Rating: 8.9/10

Jeff Brodnax – Forcing Me To Bend/ 2008 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.jeffbrodnax.com /

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