Local Review: Brine Webb’s “O You, Stone Changeling”

Brine WebbFor music enthusiasts unfamiliar with Brine Webb’s talents, now is the perfect time to acquaint yourself. For those who’ve already been introduced, you’ll be happy to learn that this album doesn’t disappoint.

O You, Stone Changeling is an elegant, dark and achingly beautiful folk-rock gem, one that was buried under years of writing and recording waiting for now to finally see the light of day.

Coupling his strength for lyrics with thoughtful arrangements, Webb has crafted a record that is more compelling than somber, which is a compliment that carries a lot of weight because this album can be very somber.

But the way Webb paints his stories with his palette of blue and gray moods is very deliberate. It’s tasteful, avoiding pitfalls like melodrama and repetition with ease. Every track lends something new to the mix, creating a progression of songs that feels organic and always part of a larger whole, but never boring or too similar.

Songs like “Find Away” and “Transit” are both optimistic enough and/or rocking/poppy enough to present an interesting contrast to themes like shattered relationships and alcoholism featured in short pieces like “rrose hips.”

Dissecting Webb’s style, one could deduce that the majority of his songs could exist solely as simple acoustic guitar renditions. But much of O You, Stone Changeling was built to be something larger, too big to be confined by one instrument.

Personally, I’m a fan of the production on this album. Simple strumming, folksy plucking, ominously swelling organ keys, sweeping string arrangements and some harmonica action all find their way onto this record without feeling out of place or forced. And the album loses none of its intimacy for it, as the more grandiose elements are used sparingly, subtly coming in and out.

Oklahoma Magazine recently quoted Webb describing this work as “a portrait of a big, long journey of wasted years.”

If only all our wasted years ended with the completion of ambitious projects, the world would be better than it is.

Preview the entire album at:

http://brinewebb.bandcamp.com.

Preview Select Tracks Below

(c) James Nghiem All rights reserved. Contact James through the email!

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