Brighten have always been a band I love dearly. They have for the most of their career been an independent 3 piece band with a pop rock feel. I’ve loved them for their themes of getting older and finding love along with guitarist/vocalist and main song writer, Justin Richards, cleaver skills of writing and lyrical content that truly paints a picture. They are one of those bands that stuck around but never truly broke into the big scene.
They were a lot more prominent between the years of 2003-2008, and after were in and out of hiatus as Justin focused more time on other projects with A Rocket To The Moon and country act Dan + Shay. Over the years Brighten‘s sound did shift from originally pop rock to more folk/country so I wasn’t entirely sure what I was gonna get. Their previous album, Peace and Quiet, was essentially a soft folk album that still had the distinct original Brighten sound to it. With this album we got an entirely country orientated album. I wasn’t shocked but I was disappointed as I wished they would return to their more rock roots.
As country isn’t really my forte I listened to the album as intently as I could and tried to be positive, but I just couldn’t. I still believe that Justin is an extremely good writer and I think his approach to lyrics continues to amaze me. I can’t pretend to love something if I’ve loved everything that came before it, and it’s not that I think the sound is horrible or the songs don’t make any sense, it’s just country ain’t for me.
The production on this album though is beautiful which is something that truly stood out to me. If I had to pick a couple of songs that were worth checking out, I’d say You Love Him and Getting Old. If your into country then maybe you’ll enjoy this album a lot more than I did and won’t agree with the score I gave it, but unfortunately I had to judge it on what I like and prefer and honestly this is the kind of album I’d listen to once and never again.
I will continue to follow Brighten though as I’ve always felt they are truly a great band that never got the recognition that they deserved. If you are interested in checking out their earlier stuff I’d recommend their debut album King VS Queen and my personal favourite Early Love.