Brett Dennen

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SMOKE AND MIRRORS

★★★★★

Brett Dennen’s SMOKE AND MIRRORS is something of a tourde force, and most probably his best album to date…

For Brett Dennen, a gentle-natured Californian with effortless depth, the recording of SMOKE AND MIRRORS required a reconnection with the feelings he had when he first fell in love with making music. As a result, what he presents here is a varied and sublime selection of songs, which delivers on an acoustic level whilst packing more than sufficient punch to make for a repeatedly enjoyable listening experience.

Dennen considers the album a more acoustic, perhaps even stripped back affair than past efforts. This is correct on certain levels, with songs like Only Want You, Who Am I, and title track Smoke and Mirrors offering something subtle and touching. Nonetheless, there’s a more accessible side to the album provided by songs such as Sweet Persuasion, Wild Child and You Make it Easy, all of which are easy listening but possess a catchiness that ensures they don’t verge anywhere close to humdrum.

Beyond this, there are a few songs of a more produced and immediately engaging nature, namely When We Were Young and Out Of My Head. These two tracks appear to be the two lead singles for the album and provide an extra spark. It’s these songs that provide the final piece of the puzzle that makes this collection of songs hold together so well. Ian Horne

www.brettdennen.net

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