Album Review :
Brandon Michael Williams presents The Brandonborg Concertos
This is a magnum opus. And it’s free.
The Brandonborg Concertos is an exercise in several different aspects, some musical, some recording, some psychological. There are 5 movements and these movements are titled:
Download it here: http://brandonmichaelwilliams.net/2013/06/the-brandonborg-concertos-out-now-2/
The 5 movements cover a significant spectrum of music. The first 3 tracks are very classical in nature. Driven by piano and various sections of a string quartet (if you know anything about concertos, this will make sense), the first 3 movements are enjoyable listens and are recorded raw and in the flesh. There are little mistakes in the performance but those little mistakes are kind of delightful. Brandon Michael Williams is certainly conjuring the spirit of Classical icons such as Mozart in these pieces. There are no vocals in the first 3 movements, as the music relies solely on instrumentation for its effect.
The last 2 tracks are more contemporary in nature and more cleanly recorded. Indeed, Brandon explicitly states “The first three tracks were recorded live with only two passes per each movement. You’ll hear mistakes but it’s what I wanted. What the piece is asking altogether, very subtly, is what good or bad has technology done for music? Which does the listener prefer? The sound of perfection (the last two tracks were recorded digitally) or the more human sound of unattainable perfection?”
The journey from one recording style to the other is intriguing and provides for a unique listening experience. I personally enjoyed the last track the most, as Movement 5 provides a hook that gets stuck in your mind. The hook is a vocal loop and is as infectious as it is memorable.
Overall, I enjoy these pieces and will listen to them several more times. They won’t be for everybody, but I think one listen through would be appropriate for every person who reads this review (it’ll only take 20 minutes or so to listen to the whole thing). I happen to like classical music and these melodies are well-crafted so that they state their case, develop for a little bit, then end before the motif becomes tiresome.
I highly recommend giving this a download and listen. If it’s not your style, move on. It’s free; no loss. If it is your style, then these are well-constructed pieces that should provide you with quality listening material for quite some time.