Evan Brightly The Narrator (Self released)
By Martin Cizmar
Let it never be said that Evan Brightly lacks ambition. The Narrator, this week's You Asked For It, not only comes with a novel, it’s also augmented by a web site featuring paintings. I only skimmed the first chapter of novel, but it wasn’t great, though the paintings showed a great touch and an ability to create a real mood. I’m especially fond of this one, even if it is a little emo.
Oh, and the music? Well…
It’s pretty good, actually, though in no way served by being shrouded in mystery. You can’t find any information on the makeup of the band through MySpace or their website, and the CD credits every song to Evan Brightly, and has little text blurbs signed “EB,” leaving the impression that there’s one dude named Evan behind the project, but this article in AZ Teen Magazine (my go to source on such things) seems to imply it’s five people, none of them named Evan, who operate as an arts collective.
Once you peel away all the mystery/gimmickry/what have you, you’re left with some solid songs with impressive production. The delicate piano intro and the crackling vocals, on “Love is a Perfect Thing,” would not sound out of place on an early Coldplay record while the more up-beat “Light, All Light” begins with gorgeous strings and a solid beat. Things drag a little more toward the end of the album, with boring, but uplifting, lyrics on “Aedee” scored to an equally unremarkable track that can’t be saved by a sweet little chorus.
Evan Brightly are obviously smart kids, and they know how to write good songs, but sometimes they seem to get a little too caught up in moment and miss opportunities to push their sound further. The marketing, though, is cutting edge.
If you’re a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to submit a CD for review, please send it in an envelope marked “YAFI” to:
Martin Cizmar You Asked For It c/o Phoenix New Times 1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85032