Brett Dennen: Smoke and Mirrors

nullSinger-songwriter Brett Dennen has been around long enough - nearly a decade as a recording artist - to have established a recognized sound.  In Dennen's case, it is a breezy, sun-drenched, good-time vibe, where even the sad songs have a happy ending.  After a brief detour on his last album, 2011's Loverboy, with its funky dance music flavorings, he returns to his acknowledged sweet spot for his debut on the F-Stop imprint of Atlantic Records, Smoke and Mirrors.

With whiffs of the tropical beach sounds of Jack Johnson or the light world-beat trappings of his admitted idol Paul Simon, Dennen croons his way through ten songs that prove his skills in writing the catchiest of AM Gold tunes for a new millennium.  The album begins with two quintessential Brett Dennen songs: the galloping "Sweet Persuasion" and the carefree plodding of "Wild Child."  Only "Out of My Head" keeps the more propulsive drive of the last record, but even this song retains his characteristic spirit of bare-footed guitar-strumming on the back porch.

- Eric J. Lawrence

Track List:

1. Sweet Persuasion
2. Wild Child
3. You Make It Easy
4. Only Want You
5. When We Were Young
6. Smoke and Mirrors
7. Don t Mess With Karma
8. Out of My Head
9. Not Too Late
10. Who Am I

Banner Photo by Ben Moon