Brandon Wiard

To Someone I Know

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To Someone I Know is the debut record from Brandon Wiard, a weary-voiced guitarist who crafts a ramshackle adult alternative sound utilizing country melodies; tense, post-Replacements guitar work; and a heart-on-my-sleeve lyrical approach. The sound is gorgeous, as the songs shuffle along over acoustic guitars and sparsely played piano on one track just to move to a punky slice of indie pop on another. This endearing flexibility is instrumental in keeping the album fresh, showing that Wiard has a firm grasp on melody and orchestration. The lyrics are another matter, as the words rarely display anything more than simple self-deprecation. It might be fitting, but the music suffers from an indistinct feel because of the average lyrics. The album overcomes this several times, most notably on the energetic duet "The Water Song" and the Madder Rose-style pop anthem "Bad Girl." Wiard shows a strong, although not yet fully honed, talent for songwriting and a lot of promise on his debut record. When he doesn't rely on a few bad habits, Wiard is a fantastic talent, and this album builds a good foundation to improve upon.

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