Strum-Gasm!

Brook Lee
Losing Esperanza

10-track Full-Length CD

Nice guy, this Brook Lee. We met him a couple of months ago, and he handed us this CD and politely—respectfully, even, in a total non-ass-kissing way!—asked us to give it a listen. And, if we kinda sorta liked what we heard, then maybe we might kinda sorta wanna write something about it. Isn't that sweet, soliciting us as if we're hoity-toity cultural tastemakers, as if people actually care what we have to say about anything? Yet we'll indulge, because Lee's a pretty great acoustic singer/songwriter, full of wordy tunes about love and life and truth and death and being naked at all the wrong moments. The closest big-name people we can compare him to would be Jack Johnson (in that laid-back, pseudo-spiritual, surf-hippie way) or maybe even Dave Matthews. Lee can work a guitar, shifting from a loping blues/jazz-tinged rhythm, as on this album's "Body & Soul," to rolling, tumbling strum-gasms, as on "Garbage," an anti-pretension rant in which he manages to rhyme phosphorescence with omnipotence—which itself could come off as pretentious, but we prefer to think of it as literate. Lee also feeds us some fabulous vocal harmonies on "Deplorable Wealth," has a buddy drop some crafty-yet-subtle turntablism here and some tremendous organ flecks and harmonica blurts there (we can also totally hear a big soul/gospel production number dying to bust out on the terrific, unnamed hidden track), and it all amounts to 45 minutes of music as inspiration—something that makes us want to dust off that neglected Martin in the bedroom corner and take it with us on a yearlong backpacking sojourn to Europe. That, or music that makes us wanna fire up a bong and get mellow and stay in all weekend.

Contact: www.brookleemusic.com; brook@brookleemusic.com.

OC and Long Beach bands and musicians! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247. Please let us know if you'd like us to post your mp3 on ocweekly.com/records.

 
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