I am not usually too much of a fan of singer-songwriters. While I do admire their vocal abilities, I prefer listening to the more heavy sounds, however, SAYWECANFLY probably holds a massive piece of my heart as I could sit and listen to his entire back catalogue until the end of time. So you can imagine my excitement when Braden Barrie’s solo project’s debut Epitaph album landed in my inbox.
The opening bars of There Are No Flowers In Heaven (foreword) sound like the start of a lullaby and listening to them, I want to fall asleep but in a good way, like it’s a super relaxing beginning that would help the insomnia. The atmospheric build up as Braden’s vocals start, give me goosebumps. It sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Title track Blessed Are Those has a basic piano melody, allowing Braden’s vocals to stand out. His soft, yet strong tone has matured since his previous releases. I Didn’t Know is a typical SAYWECANFLY track. The vocals sound slightly shaky at points, however, personally, I think it adds to the emotional feel of the track. I love when effects are added into a track, so imagine my delight when there is raindrops heard at the start of They’re Calling For Rain. My delight soon fades into tears because the track is just beautiful. Most Of The Time is great lyrically and the instrumental backing works well, however, vocally I would have to say that it is the weakest on the record with some of the raised voice parts being very hoarse and sounding more strained than angry.
Sweetest Heart has an orchestral beginning and this piano ballad is incredibly beautiful. There is an alternate version of title track Blessed Are Those which is a true acoustic version with softer vocals.
The entire album is an emotional fare but a beautiful one at that! Musically, the instruments are quite basic, keeping with the acoustic or piano bases that we are used to from previous projects. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good as it works really well to help with the atmosphere and creating emotions. Vocally, the album is near flawless. There is only one point where I think vocals could be improved upon. All in all, it is a great record from a great artist.