â€œAngelâ€ has Jeff Brodnax create an intriguing composition. Where most vocals have only one duty (to further the narrative of the track), Brodnaxâ€™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 â€œForcing Me To Bendâ€â€™s second track, â€œFlowerâ€. â€œFlowerâ€ is the sort of song that will stick with listeners long after the disc is put up; the discâ€™s four and a half minute runtime goes by only too quickly as Brodnaxâ€™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 â€œForcing Me To Bendâ€ allows listeners to interpret and enjoy it in a variety of ways. â€œItâ€™s Only Airâ€ 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 â€œForcing Me To Bendâ€: 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 â€œHomecomingâ€ and â€œPeculiar Waysâ€ are two tracks that I continually find myself coming back to when this CD is in its changer. One final note: â€œIf He Was A Starâ€ 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 discâ€™s big tracks, wind down this track and you will be surprised at how nuanced this tale truly is.
Top Tracks: Itâ€™s Only Air, Angel
Jeff Brodnax â€“ Forcing Me To Bend/ 2008 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.jeffbrodnax.com /