Tom Brosseau: Cavalier

By: Sarah Moore

Sparse vocal and guitar folk outlines Tom Brosseau's Cavalier (Fat Cat). Initially awkward phrasing creates some haphazard arrangements, such as the initial track "Amory." Delicate guitar introductions and accompaniment sound as though Brosseau is barely playing while his borderline-androgynous vocals echo a gentle Lou Reed. The immediacy of the recording allows the sound to be held under a microscope, where smaller inflections and changes make a bigger statement. Such a close look allows for a personal touch to the album, and the disc becomes a launch pad for the range of timbre and dynamics used. Brosseau's music often comes to him during long stretches of road time and travel, recalling that Cavalier's origin was on a train ride from Scotland. Commonplace observations about everyday objects tend to spike the punch of emotive folk. Pleasant compositions and the sensibilities of a more effeminate Bob Dylan make this record approachable by novice listeners and the folk masters alike. Finally, if worldly and brainy Natalie Portman thought enough of Brosseau's previous effort ("Plaid Lined Jacket" from his 2007 concept album Grand Forks) to make it part of the Big Change: Songs for FINCA effort, then Brosseau is worth a listen.

JamBase | North Dakota
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[Published on: 12/29/07]

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