A Little Bit of Everything
The title promises eclecticism, but that’s not the case here. Singer/songwriter Brock Dain rarely ventures beyond his strengths, which is writing straightforward and personal pop/rock tunes. There’s a glut of this on the market; however, most of them cannot sing as well as Dain, whose yearning voice captures twentysomething angst without the whining one usually gets.
Dain lives for the hook. The best tracks on this album, especially the leadoff home run of “On and On,” embed themselves into the subconscious. After only one spin, I was able to look at the song titles and hear the charming, hummable choruses in my head. That’s quite an accomplishment. Most new pop tunes, namely what is overplayed on Hot AC stations, suffer from a lack of identity. But many of these songs have the toes tapping long after the disc has stopped turning.
On “Grab a Hold,” Dain rocks a little harder, and surprisingly it doesn’t sound strained; when he swears, it’s a little shocking, but he’s not trying to be macho. He’s just being himself. I am most impressed by “The War Is Gone,” which takes the politics away from the Iraq conflict and is simply about missing a buddy. The piano conveys profound melancholy, and we find ourselves feeling as sad as Dain does.
Brock Dain: brockdain.com