Brenda Weiler

Crazy Happy

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This sophomore release from Brenda Weiler finds her treading familiar ground. The sound (acoustic guitar and simple accompaniment) is pretty much the same as her debut Trickle Down, and there isn't much variation in the production style, but the songs are still excellent. Weiler's rich vocals and skillful songwriting make this a fine listen. The highlights here are the traditional spiritual "Poor Me," and the more spirited numbers "Tease" and "Sweet Lullaby." Only on the preachy "Change" does the songwriting falter a bit. The heavy-handed message opposing plastic surgery and negative body image, while being well-intentioned, makes the song a weaker version of Paul Westerberg's "Mannequin Shop." Coming from the streets that spawned young blues stars Jonny Lang and Shannon Curfman, Weiler may be Fargo's best singer/songwriter. Crazy Happy may not deliver many surprises, but it does showcase a handful of excellent songs that will make you want to throw a couple of extra bucks into Weiler's tip jar.

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