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  Playing with the Light
Artist: Brindley Brothers
Label: Paste
Length: 9 tracks, 33:58

This album pretty much came out of nowhere for me. I was investigating the bands who would be at Cornerstone this year that I hadn't heard of and the Brindley Brothers was one of them. With a name like Brindley Brothers, I halfway expected something southern gospel related. A quick listen set me straight, though.

Luke Brindley (lead vocals, guitar) was having a successful solo career when he decided to involve his brother Daniel (keyboards, backing vocals) and form the Brindley Brothers. They signed with Paste Records and released Playing with the Light, which may easily prove to be the most likeable adult pop-rock gem of 2004. Fans of early Wilco, Counting Crows, and Bill Mallonee are certainly in for a treat with the Brindley Brothers.

The album is composed of nine songs that range from the upbeat rocker "Playing with the Light" to the mid-tempo and soothing "The Crazy One" to the soft, sweet love song "Harder, Easier, Better." From start to finish, the songs on Playing with the Light are earnest and heartfelt. The instrumentation is rootsy, rich and interesting.

One of the most perfect songs on the album is "Hudson River," a piano-lit song full of yearning: "The Hudson river is deep and wide / But I've got a home on the other side / What do I have to do to get by your side? / 'Cause your way is fine." In large part, this is the pattern that we see in the album's lyrics. They are firmly rooted to the joys and sorrows of life, but in a way that reveals a yearning for something more long-lasting.

The earthy, yearning music of the Brindley Brothers easily gets stuck in the head of anyone who listens to it. These are songs that you could easily sing along to while driving across the country. Or they could be taken in just as well in a relaxing evening at home. At any rate, the Brindley Brothers' Playing with the Light is the real deal, worthy of many repeat listens.

Trae Cadenhead  8/8/2004


Trae Cadenhead is a student at Union University. He is pursuing a Digital Media Studies major with a Film Studies minor and plans to become involved in film making following school. Trae also has an enormous interest in music. Along with writing for the Tollbooth, Trae maintains Loconotion (, a digital archive of his thoughts on music and movies as well as a gallery of the art and video work he has done.



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