With any luck, maybe David Foster will have one less son hanging around the mansion. Big Dume is the brainchild of Brandon Jenner, stepson of the Grammy-winning producer and focus of Fox's current reality show "The Princes of Malibu." If you've been watching, you've probably already heard of Big Dume, since they've provided some of the soundtrack. Brandon's mother Linda Thompson is an award-winning songwriter, and Brandon himself is an accomplished session musician, but does pedigree necessarily make a good singer-songwriter? The answer is "sort of."
Musically, the CD is a mixed bag. The opening track, "Inside My Head," starts off haunting and tense, then builds to a crescendo but keeps the tension with vaguely techno drums in the back. The lead single, "Mexico," is catchy energetic alt-rock reminiscent of Dispatch. "Vanity" brings keyboardist and vocalist Leah Felder to the front and focuses on a bouncy pop-rock piano line with a spacey breakdown in the middle. The closing track, "I Lost You," is a soft acoustic groove that sounds like a cross between mellow Days of the New and new age guitar. There's nothing particularly complex about the arrangements, and most of the songs are catchy and if you don't like them at first, they'll grow on you within a few listens.
Lyrically, the CD stays in pretty much the same territory-breakups, lost love, and self pity. And cigarettes, which are referenced repeatedly. The first verse of the opening track says, "Heart falls out as I decompose/My life, it ends right here on this dark day;" two tracks later, we hear, "So now that my love has left me/The only thing left is to die." "Perfect World" laments, "I can't let go/Until I hate myself/So where's the perfect world for me?" Almost standard emo fare, but Brandon's waxing poetic is far more creative.
Does Big Dume forge any new territory on Inside My Head? No, not really. Is it a good listen anyway? Yes, definitely. If you like Buchanan, or want something like Jack Johnson that rocks a little harder, this is for you. The only real miss is "Vanity," a complete stylistic departure and rather misplaced among the rest of the songs. Other than that, this is a solid alt-rock disc.