Thursday, 5 February 2009

O'Bryan - F1RST - Independent

Hands up if you remember O’Bryan. Yes, he’s the high-pitched vocalist whose strained tones enjoyed some success in the 80s on Capitol. Then, his music was quasi-disco, quasi-Prince energy-fuelled black dance, but now it seems he wants to put all that behind him and start again – hence the name of this brand new set (the spelling of the title by the way is Mr. O’s not mine). For the new start we get a new sound – O’Bryan now sees himself as a lurve man and ‘F1rst’ is distinctly down tempo and in places reminds me of Maxwell in ballad mode or even Gary Taylor when he goes off on one of his self-indulgent rambles. In truth though, O’Bryan’s voice matches neither of those two gents. In places it sounds thin, unsubstantial even, but there are some pleasing moments. Best of the eleven cuts for me is ‘Gotta Let You Go’. It’s a ballad of course but the melody’s very pleasant and some nice chorus work. To my ears it’s the kind of thing the Temptations should be recording. Elsewhere ‘Virtual Reality’ has a semi-pastoral classical feel to it while ‘Caught In the Middle’ is possibly the most “up” and Gary-Taylor-alike. You also get some instrumental fillers which didn’t inspire me, but if you’re looking for some reasonable quiet storm moments, you may want to at least investigate.

Bill Buckley

Buy on CD-Baby