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Cory Branan (from When I Go I Ghost on Blue Elan Records) (By Lee Zimmerman)
With a career that now spans six albums and the outstanding reviews received in their wake, Cory Branan has gained a reputation that relies on his erstwhile efforts as applied with confidence and credibility. He’s an articulate songwriter, prone to sharing lyrics that are richly emphatic, both credible and compelling. His new album, When I Go I Ghost, proves that point, and while its title may indicate otherwise, it comes across as highly pervasive set of songs, fully fueled with anthemic outreach. Guests Jason Isbell, Garrison Starr, and Brian Fallon help underscore that combined sense of authority and assurance, but ultimately, that determination originates with Branan himself, as indicated by the clear commitment invested in each of these songs. They ring with both triumph and tenacity, good indication that Cory Branan is poised to become a stadium-suited star, an artist capable of winning over the masses while gathering an adoring fan base that’s hot on his heels.
Not surprisingly then, the fury and finesse are stirred in equal proportion right from the start. Opening track “When in Rome, When in Memphis” name-checks Asbury Park, the New Jersey town that spawned Bruce Springsteen, and indeed, its stirring sentiments find the reference both vivid and vital. “O Charlie” rings with a similar sense of drive and determination, albeit with a measure of restraint tempering the resolve. Elsewhere, Branan crafts a sound that remains evocative and compelling, giving songs such as “That Look I Lost”, “When I Leave Here”, “Come On If You Wanna Come”, “Room 101”, and “Pocket of God” a feeling of urgency and intrigue. While they may vary in terms of tone and temperament, they’re bound by a rugged sense of gravitas that compels the audience to lean and listen and embrace the purpose and desire present in each of these offerings.
Ultimately, When I Go I Ghost is an album that begs repeated hearings and far more than any cursory encounter. What’s more, it’s a career-defining effort and one which assures Cory Branan’s stature as an eloquent performer who possesses both passion and prowess. One can easily imagine t he’ll continue to build on that reputation from here. (By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Cory Branan from AMAZON
Please go to the Cory Branan website for more information
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