The second album by this British singer-songwriter – a
former bare-knuckle boxer from Yorkshire – shows Findlay Brown becoming the
kind of melodic crooner-rocker that Edwyn Collins once showed such promise at.
With a voice that probes the darker, lonelier corners of a tenor range while
always sounding romantic rather than mopey, he recalls the more angsty teen
idols of the early 1960s.
The ballads and mid-tempo rockers, like “Holding Back the
Night” and the title song, all are crafted with a clear vision of how a good
song has strong verses and choruses – maybe even a bridge. If there’s a role
model, it would be Ricky Nelson’s “Lonesome Town.” The subdued echoey guitar
riffs, the softly cushioned harmonies (it sounds as if his vocals are
double-tracked), and other production/arrangement touches by Suede’s Bernard
Butler give the songs variety.
Especially noteworthy is the way the beginning of “Teardrops
Lost in the Rain” quotes John Barry’s wistfully sad “Midnight Cowboy Theme.”
Brown’s songs don’t yet have the transcendent haunting quality of Chris Isaak’s
classic of this genre, “Wicked Game,” or of Richard Hawley’s work. But it’s
good to have him trying hard to get there.
Standout Tracks: “Love Will Find You,” “Teardrops Lost in the Rain” STEVEN