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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Sep 11th, 2018

Randal Branham: Simple

Randal Branham
Simple
(Randal Branham)

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The running away piano and snappy drums of “Simple To Extreme” grabbed me immediately into Randal Branham’s Simple world. The guy’s cool lower register vocal and obvious ivory-tickling prowess set up a nicely jazzy opener here; the rest of the 13 tunes are just as interesting.

The ballad “Wonderful” follows, again with cool drums, some floaty single synth sounds and a big chorus. The angelic “Man to Man” showcases just Branham’s vocals and piano playing in a song about love between men. In the hands of (or more precisely from another vocalist) this could have come across trite, but like Joe Jackson on his best intimate moments, this tune works. The slightly different tone on the piano adds just the right flavor.

“Dreams,” is another mid-tempo sweet tune, about the possible hopeful future of love. There’s some nice atmospheric synths here and backing vocals from Minet Gregory.

“Go Out,” is a dance infused tune with a cool sounding keyboard backing (almost Alan Parson’s Project sounding) and the tune that sounds most unlike the rest. This is one of the reasons I really dig it. Napoleon Baca’s electric just adds to the vibe. There is even an obvious use of auto tune on Branham’s vocal.

“As Much,” another near solo from Branham, has strings floating in (the man is certainly a sucker for love, that’s for sure). It’s a sweet song with Denise Acerra’s flute sailing in soloing above the strings and piano.

Randal Branham’s Simple is anything but, and a solid release from an equally solid singer/songwriter/piano player.

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Randal Branham: Simple