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Brett Dennen Review
by Gary Schwind

Brett Dennen kicks off his self-titled album with a catchy song called "Blessed." The guitar picking at the beginning of this song sounds quite a bit like Clarence Bucaro's "Sweet Corn". It seems very much like a summer song that you could enjoy while sitting on your deck or your porch. The message is pretty solid too. He sings about how blessed this life is and how he's going to celebrate being alive.

The album is packed with similar messages. His songwriting style is reminiscent of Tracy Chapman and Bob Marley. His songs remind me of Tracy Chapman because they are simple but thick with meaning. The Bob Marley comparison comes in because he wants to remind us what's really important in life. The song that reminds me most of Bob Marley is "All We Have," in which he talks about "rising above the madness" and that there's "strength in only love and compassion."

I applaud Dennen's message. He wants to make the point that no matter what you have, you should enjoy and celebrate life because you only get one crack at it. Frankly, it's a good reminder. If there's one thing that kind of misses in this album, it's pretty minor. The songs, while well crafted and performed, tend to blend together. I wouldn't mind hearing Dennen put a little more expression in his vocals.

That being said, Brett Dennen is a talented songwriter and musician. I don't know how old Brett Dennen is. He looks pretty youthful, which makes his sense of perspective even more amazing. He seems to have grasped onto the fact that life is impermanent and we should embrace each day like it's our last. It's a very wise sentiment and there aren't many artists who deliver that sort of wisdom.

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Brett Dennen

Label:Flagship Recordings

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