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Hope for the Hopeless
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Hope For The Hopeless
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So when I first played Hope for the Hopeless I was expectant and...well... 'hopeful'. I didn't love it first time around. I remember thinking there are a few good songs on here. But after listening to it a few more times I really started to like it and now I love it just as much as the others. I really think "San Francisco" may be my favorite followed closely by "Follow Your Heart." I really like ALL of them though. Seriously, every last one.
I love his lyrical phrasing and his unique voice and he still plays upon that in this album. Something I have really enjoyed about Dennen's music is watching him grow. The first album seemed to be almost a tribute to (maybe) a personal lover and being in love with life. The next one still talked of personal love but also took on an intense look at the world around him. This one seems to focus on a loss of love to some extent but sharing his worldview. That's just my take - and I was already a big fan.
And I hear tell that Dennen doesn't pay much mind to critics' opinions, as he "made the album he wanted to make"... Wow - a musician with talent AND integrity; and he's young besides, so I look forward to following him throughout what I expect to be a long and remarkable career.
Brett Dennen rocks - in this case, beginning with the first song ("San Francisco") all the way thru to the final one ("Ain't Gonna Lose You"). And the entire recording grows on you the more you hear it. Those are the best kind. Five solid stars.
His voice is just amazing, and I'm glad to see his stream of solidly amazing music keep coming.
The record starts off on the fairly unexciting "San Francisco," your typical breakup song that is about as offensive as a Miley Cyrus tune. Single "Make You Crazy," featuring Femi Kuti, is marginally better, but the whole thing still comes off as just a paler Mayer imitation with a touch of (ew) Dave Matthews. Things start to look up with the following slow burner "Heaven," which, although weighed down by some preachy "love everyone" lyrics, is an effective ballad.
Dennen hits his stride near the midpoint of the album, where the arrangements start to get a little more adventurous and the vocals start to sound more inspired than insipid. "Wrong About Me" rides a honky-tonk piano line and Dennen's under-the-surface anger to an excellent chorus, while "So Far From Me"'s distant horn and gentle finger-picking create a palpable atmosphere of longing. And despite "When She's Gone" sappy lyrics, the pulsing guitar and double-bass beat make for a pretty guilty pop pleasure by song's end.
The rest of the album is fairly hit-or-miss, with workmanlike yet catchy guitar-pop tunes alternate with particularly grating sermons ("Who Do You Think You Are?" is a big offender).Read more ›
It is hard to have Brett alone with his guitar on this album. In fact it's impossible, you always have the rest of the band. It's a diferent work and I would prefer it not to be, but it is still a very good album.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fab cd love it!! Looking forward to seeing him support paloma faith next year at Newcastle :) which is the only reason I bought tickets!!Published 21 months ago by Laura Laws
LOVE his voice & the words are all very heart-felt & meaningful.Published on July 7, 2014 by dsAustin
Feeling broken hearted? Dumped? Down? This album is your ticket to heaven. Brett delivers on his promise of hope for the hopeless.Published on May 21, 2014 by Stripper
This is my second Brett Dennen album (1st-So Much More). I had heard Make Your Crazy - great song. But now I have San Francisco stuck in my head and find myself humming it to... Read morePublished on April 30, 2014 by Will
Socially conscious commentary as well as catchy pop tunes - I've been a fan for years and he does it all. Writes it - sings it - plays it.Published on October 14, 2013 by Patrick K. Mahoney
CD is a great addition to anyone who loves music. This guy is great and so glad to be blessed with his music.Published on October 2, 2013 by DG