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Itís Always Dark When Iím Awake
Artist: Jed Brewer
Label: Independent
Length: 11 tracks/40 minutes

For a do-it-yourself effort, Jed Brewerís _Itís Always Dark When Iím Awake_ is pretty good. Recorded in a bedroom in Virginia, Brewer brings a sound most closely aligned with Derek Webb or Rocky Votolato, with a richer, more atmospheric touch. Brewerís songwriting is by no means original, heavily leaning on a sound youíve heard before. But for Brewer, this approach works. The familiarity of his music helps draw you in, even though his songs arenít the most original out there today.  

Part of what brings _Itís Always Dark When Iím Awake_ some of itís originality in the folk scene could also be seen as a crutch. Brewer heavily relies on the atmosphere created by reverb and delay, almost to the point that the sound loses its intimacy and starts to sound trite. Standout tracks that go against this process are ďHow It BeginsĒ and ďI Give Up.Ē These tracks pull off a great mix of intimacy and atmosphere, without losing the listener.

While it has some shining moments, _Itís Always Dark When Iím Awake_ does very little to distinguish itself from a majority of the music within the scene. When it does shine, itís still not enough to draw your ear away from the proven veterans for return listens.

Zach Delph 05/18/2005



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