Findlay Brown

Love Will Find You

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After releasing the '70s singer/songwriter and folk-pop-influenced album Separated by the Sea in 2007, Findlay Brown seemingly went through a major sea change. On his follow-up album, 2010’s Love Will Find You, the quiet, Simon & Garfunkel-esque arrangements, the subtle arrangements and hushed vocals are all gone. Instead, Brown and producer Bernard Butler go back a decade and delve into early rock & pop sounds. The duo take cues from the dramatic sound of classic Roy Orbison singles, the dramatic productions of Phil Spector, and the dramatic songs of the best Brill Building songwriters. Yes, there is a lot of drama on the record. It’s in the swelling strings that surround Brown’s crooning vocals, it’s in the lyrics, it’s in the song titles ("Nobody Cared," "Teardrops Lost in the Rain," "Holding Back the Night"), it’s basically everywhere. Which could have been a problem if that’s all there was to the record, but it’s not. There are enough variations in sounds and tempo to keep things from being a heartbroken slog. The big ballads are balanced by rockabilly rockers ("That’s Right"), a couple fast-paced ballads ("Holding Back the Night," "All That I Have"), and a pretty brilliant teen idol pastiche ("I Still Want You"). Those big ballads are the heart of the album though, and Brown proves himself to be a master of digging deep into emotion without going overboard, lyrically or vocally. Songs like "Love Will Find You," "Teardrops Lost in the Rain," and "I Had a Dream" hit that sweet spot between heartbroken grandeur and very human tenderness that not many singers can reach consistently. That Brown does it so easily here is surprising and pretty wonderful. Credit Butler’s production, too, as he does wonders with the arrangements and sound. Love Will Find You is the record Chris Isaak wishes he could make, the kind of record Richard Hawley used to make, and the kind of record that will appeal to lovers of the kind of ballads Roy used to do.

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