Thursday, November 18, 2010
Review: The Brigadier “The Secret Of No Success”
Loyal readers will know we’ve been a fan of The Brigadier since day one (see reviews here). The Brigadier is Welsh born singer, songwriter, and producer Matt Williams, who has been receiving much acclaim for his intimate live shows and timeless pop. Influenced by all sorts of popular music past and present, he writes melodic pop rock with intricate chord changes and catchy choruses.
“The Secret Of No Success” is the fourth full-length record released by The Brigadier since 2007, not to mention his numerous seasonal EPs. This time out The Brigadier turns his attention to another topic most of us can relate to (except Charlie Sheen): the world of work. While in the States right now any job is a good job, The Brigadier focuses on the ins and outs of the 9 to 5 grind, creating what amounts to a concept album that climbs the steps of the career ladder. He covers everything from resumes to interviews, commuting to resignations, office life and the weekend break. As one would expect, his stories about career culture are set to music that runs the gamut of pop, incorporating 70s bubblegum, classic 60s pop, baroque, and indie pop all into one.
The songs are listed on the back in the form of a flow chart, consistent with the theme of this thoughtful record. The Brigadier wakes us up with “Doing The 9 To 5”, which begins the same way so many of us begin our day. “Just A Little Kiss Miss Busy” is another upbeat guitar-driven slice of pop heaven, and The Brigadier’s wry sense of humor (along with one of the catchiest Beach Boys-inspired choruses on the record) makes “Back In The Office Again” a winner. The 80s new wave spirit that permeates “Dreaming Of The Weekend” makes it a nostalgic treat. “Middle Management” is another brilliant satirical look at corporate mentality, a sweeping ballad with beautifully melancholy music. The title track and “A Better Day” are additional highlights you shouldn’t miss.
With so many catchy melodies and enjoyable harmonies, “The Secret Of No Success” may just be the ticket to success for The Brigadier.
iPOD-worthy: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 13
The Brigadier on MySpace. Official site.
Listen to “Doing The 9 To 5”