Q - 10/02, p.1013 stars out of 5
- "...Underlines Brad's role as this era's Free - capable of punchy rock swagger but with soul grooves and torchsong heartbreak at its core..."
Uncut - 8/03, p.1064 stars out of 5
- "...Brad have produced a minor masterpiece....You'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll rejoice that Lewis Taylor isn't the only artist out there doing this kind of thing..."
Brad: Shawn Smith (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, piano, organ, synthesizer, bass, drums); Stone Gossard (acoustic & electric guitars, organ, synthesizer, bass); Mike Berg (guitar, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, synthesizer, bass); Regan Hagar (guitar, synthesizer, drums).
Additional personnel: Thaddeus Turner (acoustic & electric guitars, bass); Jeremy Toback (bass); Elizabeth Pupo-Walker (percussion).
Recorded at Studio Litho and Studio X, Seattle, Washington.
Recording information: Studio Litho, Seattle (03/2002); Studio X, Seattle (03/2002); Studio Litho, Seattle (05/2001); Studio X, Seattle (05/2001).
Photographer: Bruce Tom.
Still offering the same kind of soft rock seen on Interiors but tempering it with a healthy dose of country, Brad steps into the next century with an album of breezy pop/rock. As on their last record, their songwriting hasn't quite caught up to their ambitions, but vocalist Shawn Smith is still a potent weapon. His thin croon gives tracks like "Shinin'" and "Yes, You Are" an emotional delicacy that would be lost on most other vocalists. By committing his beautiful voice to the songs here, he manages to really shape up a good portion of the album. "Drop It Down" is blatantly the worst song, a sloppy slab of jam rock that suffers from gutless production and a lack of swing. Luckily, they don't indulge their "funky" side nearly as much on this album. Unfortunately, while at their best on slow R&B-influenced ballads, that is also the one element of their sound they seem most willing to sacrifice, only letting it come out on the beautiful "Yes, You Are" and the lilting "Never Let Each Other Down." Surprisingly, the riff-driven "Revolution" is another good change of direction for the band, showcasing guitarist Stone Gossard's awesome mastery of mood and Smith's Prince-like screams. The members of Brad sound like they are attempting to make their albums less uneven, and they do a decent job of it. But they can't quite harness the magic they can pull off on a track-by-track basis, making this another quality album that still leaves the listener hungry overall for some better songs. ~ Bradley Torreano