Bryan Gorsira: So Far – CD Review
Bryan Gorsira is a singer/songwriter from Virginia who has recorded his latest CD under the direction of producer Tom Manche. Here we have 14 songs at a total of 52 minutes, put out with very limited sleeve notes and packaging. Bryan has enlisted guest musicians to provide extra colour and charm to this superb collection of songs. There are numerous instruments brought in to play and several different influences from other genres apparent throughout this musical journey, but they are always understated so as to hold the style and themes together.
The CD begins with some gently picked acoustic guitar and understated percussion, backed with a simple keyboard line and a sprinkle of electric guitar. By the second song “Give Me a Day” Bryan has firmly established his style and with the introduction of his sweetening harmonies secures his position as a talented and sensitive songwriter. By the third song “Hello reprise” we realize that Bryan has a distinctly positive outlook on his life – clearly reflected in his melodies and lyrics and the superb vocal delivery. He holds absolutely nothing back and constantly bares his soul to his audience. I noticed that within his lyrics there is a theme of heartfelt thankfulness, a recognition of where he is in life. Surrounded in happy contentment with his wife and children around him. By the fourth song “Caught” we are met with a minor key and the introduction of a female lead vocal. There is no mention of who this is as the sleeve notes are very limited but she has a delicate and flawless voice, which is a welcome touch at this point in the running order. However, it would have been advantageous to have Bryans voice here also, perhaps performing the harmonies in the choruses. Other tracks, for example the laid back country song “The Best Years”, “New World” and “Something Right” all continue the theme of Bryans thankfulness – “All is right with the world today”. Also of note is track 10 “Again” where Bryans voice is very reminiscent of Cat Stevens.
Given the very strong theme of these songs and the emphasis on Bryans family values, it was quite a shock to reach the last song “Wash Me” which begins with a frank and very descriptive encounter with a prostitute! …erm, Bryan,…what happened to the beautiful wife that you were so thankful for? What seems apparent is the lack of thought for the tracks running order, which is crucially important as it can dramatically alter our perception of individual pieces of music (this includes the lyrical content) and in my opinion this is perhaps the only problem with “So Far”. Each of the tracks are well recorded and thoughtfully arranged, Bryan has an excellent voice with a great tone – if the songs were in a more considered order they could work even better together.
Overall this is a very impressive release by Bryan Gorsira. A collection of finely crafted music with a relaxing meditative vibe to the majority of the songs. The evocation of the moods is definitely the strong suit of this act and it is Bryan’s vocal melodies, harmonies, well placed and effective execution that makes the CD shine.
More reviews of similar artists at Indie Music Digest.