Dean Brody

Dean Brody

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Canadian country singer Dean Brody sounds positively all-American on his self-titled 2009 debut. He has a dry, dusty sensibility that recalls Brad Paisley only without Paisley's ripping guitar and weakness for novelties. Which isn't to say Brody doesn't have a sense of humor: he serves up a clever pun on "Dirt Roads Scholar," marrying it to an insistent country-rock pulse that manages to feel simultaneously traditional and modern. Brody's strength is that he walks this line with a bit of grace, only occasionally straying toward anonymous crossover country-pop. The strident power ballad "Brothers" being the biggest offender in this regard, but the sweet, breezy "Lazy Days" shows that he can have a gentle touch, while "This Ain't the Same Town" shows that he can do a gritty honky tonk crawl with the best of them. And it's that ability to put a bit of dirt in his country, along with his lean, efficient songwriting (he writes six of the 11 songs here, co-writing three others), that makes Dean Brody a fresh, engaging debut.

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