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Mutt

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Mutt [Explicit]
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Audio CD, May 22, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Cory Branan is a natural-born storyteller. As with any of his musical and literary pedestal sitters, from John Prine and Leonard Cohen to Raymond Carver and Gabriel Garc¡a M rquez, his seemingly conversational, painstakingly crafted anecdotes benefit from a hard-eyed stare at hydra-headed experience. The album Mutt also bears the marks of his "American gumbo" heritage: a winding path from nascent guitar shredder in the small, state-line town of Southaven, Mississippi, to fledgling troubadour in Memphis' lauded underground music scene, and now a Nashville-based itinerant road warrior thrilling Thunderdomes as varied as Warp's Country Throwdown and Chuck Ragan's Revival Tour. While his music tips its hat to roadmap influences from Motown to Mellencamp, the Delta bluesmen to folk pickers of '60s Greenwich Village, the united result is a singular sound spurred on by years spent on tour honing something rare that is altogether its own.

Review

His songwriting is up there with the best of the new breed of today ala Snodgrass, Finn and Nichols… Mutt is undoubtedly the best Branan release to date, a shiny new jewel in the Bloodshot Records crown that will no doubt clutter the upper reaches of many a Best Of 2012 list. --PopMatters

Darken My Door bests anything Ryan Adams has written since Heartbreaker, and Yesterday is a bittersweet teenage reverie that rewrites Mellencamp s Jack and Diane into your new summer jam. --Paste Magazine

The album is at once bold, intriguing and engrossing. The diverse themes are held together by an impeccable knack for the craft of songwriting. --Country Standard Time

Whether the protagonist or antagonist in his own set of narratives, Branan coaxes listeners firmly to his side with his whiskey-smooth croon and a transparency that is somehow bold and vulnerable all at once. Mutt is an assembly of rhyming invectives, lamentations, and near-sermons that ask for recognition without demanding pity --Interview

On Mutt, the country, soul, gospel and classic rock he's absorbed through his travels filters down to just its barest and strongest elements. Then it's all tempered by the mellow charring of Branan's voice, which is so smoky that even at full power it retains a whispering quality. --Country Music Television
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 22, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bloodshot Records
  • ASIN: B007N8Q6O6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,054 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Cory Branan has cited varied influences for "Mutt." They include Mellencamp and Springsteen. ITunes appears to have pegged them as the dominant ones. The album is auto categorized in the rock genre. But his self-produced debut with Bloodshot is a melting pot of varying inspirations, from Americana to folk. Some are subtly hidden, perhaps even to Branan himself. His finesse picking on the gorgeous opener The Corner is reminiscent of Lindsey Buckingham. The fundamental sound is a punk /southern rock vibe in the same vein as Paul Westerberg.
Two versions of Survivor Blues bookend the heart of the record's 13 songs. The first is an aggressive punk laced version . The second serves as the closer and is the acoustic coffee shop rendition, complete with mellow electric piano. The songs in between look forward and back to each other, creating a two sided mirror of meaning that is both expansive and internal.
His easy, conversational delivery is a double edged sword. His voice is reassuring and smooth, but when he drops a few F bombs on "The Freefall" they come off as a little shocking and out of place.

He demonstrates a keen sense of humor on the amusingly sentimental Yesterday. Set in the 80's, he muses, "I was certifiably cool/ In my acid washed jacket and my stone washed jeans/I rose out of the kiddie pool."Each song has a different feel and Branan consciously let each one go in its own direction without deliberately establishing contrast

Like the bare breasted hydra on the cover, the album is at once bold, intriguing and engrossing. The diverse themes are held together by an impeccable knack for the craft of songwriting.
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Format: Audio CD
well worth the 6 year wait for this record. one of the finest songwriters around. his live show is enthralling and will have you wondering why this guy isn't john prine huge yet...
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is a great album! Is displays Cory Branan's exceptional lyrical ability and his song-writing flexibility. The acoustic tracks lend themselves more to his weathered, heart-wrenching delivery. His songs always tend to have that taste of sarcasm or wit or whatever that gives them the authentic feel that can only be had through brutal experience. This guy is a blast to watch live. So moody, intense, funny, energetic, and bluesy (if that combination is even possible). He even plays his guitar with a sense of sarcastic intensity. He's either the real deal travelling minstrel maniac bluesman, or so good at faking it that it no longer matters. Worth the listen, and worth a watch if you get a chance.
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Format: Audio CD
I keep trying to make sense of a review for this record and end up with a weird list of adjectives. I have been on board since seeing Branan in a small dive promoting his first record and have deeply enjoyed each outing. See him if you can or try out some of his live clips on You Tube to get a flavor for what you can't get from a studio record.

The lyrics on Mutt are thoughtful and smart. He writes like he's a mash-up of two people: the gifted fifteen year-old poet, spilling his wounded, boundless passion and possibility, and that kid's future self, more mature, world weary but still fiery, bearing the mark of one who suffers for paying attention but finds there is still light at the end of the tunnel. Familiar but fresh, smart but unafraid to drop a clumsy f-bomb when the song evokes it, this guy hammers every word into the right whisky drenched place. It's just a treat to listen to, and certainly not without humor and style.

Of course the translation of those words is amped up by Branan's vocal stlyings. Branan croaks, groans, soars, moans, and wails as the performance demands. He hammers some lyrics like a hair band gun slinger and barerly whispers others, unafraid to make you stop, dial in closer, and listen - really listen - to get the point. The little things really enrich repeated listens. Branan, as is his want, lets "the southern kick in" at all the right points. I can't sing, but if I could, I'd like to deliver a song with the heart, guts, and intensity that he can. There are a few here that you'll love to sing along to on the open road. Magic stuff.

I am no musician so I can't dig too deep on the playing.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I first heard Branan when the 2012 Revival Tour hit Portland, OR this past Spring (before Mutt came out) and thought he was awesome. While he does have a certain country influenced sound, I best describe him as some sort of alternative rock Americana musician. Lyically, he reminds me a bit of John Mellencamp in his observations of the human condition, although Branan has some rougher edges (as well as funny ones), which is a good thing since if I want to hear something like Mellencamp, I just pop in a Mellencamp disk. In any event, after the Revival Tour show, I went out and picked up his disks, popped them in, and experienced a bit of disappointment as I heard the same notes as in the concert but with a very different arrangement. For me, the problem with the earlier albums is this: he writes excellent songs and has a wonderfully smooth voice. But he has a tendency to obscure these two awesome assets on his best songs with a fully plugged-in backing band (A Girl Named GO and Prettiest Waitress in Memphis immediately come to mind). Obviously, I am finding this fault with Branan due to the way I was introduced to him (accompanied by nothing other than the acoustic guitar he played). I just saw him again last week in the same manner and just had to wonder why he doesn't record more songs with just an acoustic arrangement. Fortunately, he seems to have realized how popular his acoustic renditions have become and lets this style play a greater role on Mutt, starting right off with The Corner. His most obvious recognition of his two styles comes with Survivor Blues, which is found twice on the album, first with a faster plugged-in throw-down version and then a more laid back acoustic version. But it would be great to hear excellent songs like Yesterday done the same way. In the meantime, you can always find fan recorded acoustic versions on YouTube in varying degrees of quality.
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