Posted on: March 1, 2008 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 1

Russ Glenn – A Brand New Earth / 2007 Self / 12 Tracks / /

If my math is right, this is Glenn’s fifth recording. Glenn started out with “Starshell” and “Evergold”, took the next step up for 2003’s “Unless”, and continued to refine and innovate on 2006’s “Little Bird”. In much the same way, Glenn has continued to evolve his unique brand of funk soul, and rock. The first track on “A Brand New Earth” is “Stick”, and it operates perfectly as a hold-over from the previous Glenn albums. However, it provides individuals with just enough in the way of new material to allow for a gradual shift in Glenn’s sound over the course of the following 11 tracks. Hints of John Maher, Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews all comes forth on this introductory track.

The production values present on “A Brand New Earth” are stellar, at the degree that individuals should not be surprised if Glenn gets some airplay on mainstream radio in the next few months.  Where the instrumentation on “Stick” are strong in their own right, it is really the vocal harmonies that Glenn achieves that shine brightest on this track. A dollop of emotional gravitas is present during “Blind”. This track links together the aforementioned Dave Matthews influence with “A Boy Named Goo”-era Goo Goo Dolls. The twinkling approach of the instrumentation during the track highlights Glenn’s vocals in all the right way, making another single-worthy track out of “Blind”. The third track on “A Brand New Earth” is “Curbside”, and the track is notable with the inclusion of jazz and funk into the sound achieved during “Stick” and “Blind”.  The insertion of new styles and influences into “A Brand New Earth” is exactly what is needed to keep individuals interested in Glenn’s output.

The follow-up track to “Curbside” keeps individuals interested. This track, “Jane Says”, is a cover of the Jane’s Addiction classic, and showcases the ability of Glenn to come forth with a track that closely conforms to the style of the original but still brings enough in the way of Glenn’s soul to the track to succeed. Keep listening, for “Goodbye” may just be the pinnacle of the tracks on “A Brand New Earth”. This track shifts through styles and sounds enough to keep individuals interested, while allowing Glenn to take on some of the sound of the Barenaked Ladies. A fun, unique album that is still familiar enough for fans of all stripes to appreciate.

Top Tracks: Goodbye, Insecurity

Rating: 7.0/10

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