Local Wire

Brad Perry: You Asked For It

Brad Perry and the Acoustic Fingerprints
Brad Perry and the Acoustic Fingerprints

Grade: C-

I'm sure our weekly locals-only music review column, You Asked For It, has unwittingly kicked people when they were down before but, honestly, that's never the intent. That's why it's so hard to write about this week's selection, offered up by Brad Perry who was recently laid off from Channel 3.

Perry is, by all accounts, a super-nice guy, but his debut EP sounds a lot like what you'd expect a deep-voiced TV newsman's collection of covers and confessions to sound like. Or, to put it another way, it sounds exactly like what it's advertised as on his MySpace: "a little bit Kenny Chesney with Ben Harper soul."

Perry's voice isn't bad, exactly, but it's a lot like a slightly higher-pitched Tom Waits. That works well when you're a bitter old troubadour in a fedora, but not so well when you're the guy who used to do remote weather stories in a town with very little weather worth reporting.

The lyrics to songs like "Craziness in My Head" are a little disturbing compared to the manicured-version of a newscaster we're used to seeing. Discussing his ability to a "damn good lover" who "made you holler" in "You Say" seems equally awkward. Also awkward: The totally out-of-place flourish of what sounds like a wind chime in "Craziness" and at the beginning of the instrumental "Beach," a mellow little ditty that ended up being my favorite song on the EP.

The penultimate offering, "Life Is Good" sort of reminds me of the mom shirts bearing the slogan: possessing a texture a little too soft to be practical for anyone not driving a mini-van and expressing cliched sentiments that seem a little too obvious to bother expressing. Still, some people like those shirts and I imagine the same people wearing them in an off-putting shade of orange pastel might dig Perry's record.