1. Braidwood: “Almost Lost My Nerve”
March 3, 2014 powerpopaholic Power Pop Review
Canadian Brent Braidwood takes his love of early Beatles and turns it into rousing original songs that are hard to dismiss. “Left To Wonder” has the harmonica, tambourine, harmonies and Ringoesque drums guaranteed to put a smile on your face. “Love’s Run Dry” is another fast-paced gem. Braidwood crafts magic here, as he doesn’t emulate the Fabs exactly but takes enough elements to make it a lot of fun for fans of Beatlesque music. A special hats off to [Braidwood], his riffs on “A Girl Like You” are precise.
During the albums second half a few odd tracks feel out of place like the country blues of “Some Say It’s Murder,” and Brent’s vocal isn’t as compelling on the less Beatley stuff. The exception here is “So It Goes,” that reminds me of early Todd Rundgren. Definitely worth it for fans of Burning Ferns and The Spongetones.
2. Braidwood: “Braidwood’s Second Cacophony”
by Tom Harrison | Nov 23, 2018 , The Province newspaper
In the year of the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ “White Album” comes Braidwood’s Second Cacophony.
Obviously, Braidwood is not The Beatles but the diversity of Braidwood’s second album has a similar effect, and a Beatles influence runs throughout.
Depending on the track, the White Album could win you or lose you and it took time to appreciate the album as a whole. Second Cacophony isn’t as extreme, but it has weaknesses such as Maybe She’ll Call Tonight that might lose you and plenty of strengths that are ingratiating.
Braidwood swings drastically from the jazzy feel and pedal steel of Just Friends to the white pop/R&B of Fallen, with horns that light up the song like something Style Council might have done or that can be heard on The Beatles’ Got To Get You Into My Life, followed immediately by Call You At Midnight, a kind of music hall novelty replete with kazoo.
Call You At Midnight makes me think of Harry Nilsson. Nilsson was diverse, too, able with his own records to mix in commercial pop, that kind of music hall camp, sentimentality and cynicism. He could be smart or a smart ass. Braidwood never crosses that line but the comparison is valid. Braidwood starts Second Cacophony with a nonsensical fanfare similar to Nilsson’s opening to Pandemonium Shadow Show. It’s also worth remembering that when The Beatles were asked to name their favourite American “group,” they cited Harry Nilsson.
As for The Beatles’ influence some of it is pronounced such as Rest Of The Day’s Tomorrow Never Knows opening drum salvo or the George Harrison guitar fills, such as those of Down The Road. Less obvious is the same song’s subtle reference to Let It Be or the progression on Make Your Mind that recalls Dear Prudence.
There is evidence that Brent Braidwood learned from his first album, Almost Lost My Nerve. The arrangements have a depth not evident on the first album and the inescapable presence of background vocals also indicate growth.
Part of Second Cacophony’s appeal is that Braidwood continues to explore within a limited framework. Sort of like the White Album.