Brighten – Early Love EP
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: September 2nd, 2008
Lately almost everywhere you look, you'll see one of "those" pop-rock bands: decked out in trendy clothing, promos pictures taken at a party with too much confetti and music made just to follow what's popular. Being a fan of this genre, it's tough to find the bands that are for real. Although it's almost like going through a giant box of random baseball cards - eventually you'll find a rookie Alex Rodriguez.
This is where Brighten comes in.
Their debut album, King vs. Queen, was a favorite of mine in 2007. Its indie-pop-rock sensibility brought a smile to my face every time I listened. Nearly a year and a half and a line-up change later, Brighten has revealed Early Love, an EP which surpasses their full-length greatly. Early Love is the perfect definition of a "follow-up." It hardly strays away from the sound on King vs. Queen, yet when it does, it doesn't sound the least bit forced.
The first couple of tracks on Early Love, "Carolina" and "Love on My Mind," show that it's very similar to their old sound, just more enhanced and packed with a bigger punch that their previous songs may have lacked. "We Are Birds" and "Easy to Fall in Love" are the slowest on the release that showcase Justin Richards' vocals beautifully. "Swing" is a grower that initially caught me off guard. On a mainly positive sounding group of songs, "Swing" shows the "harder" side of Brighten. Although, like I said before, it's in no way bad; it's sounds like a natural progression. After the first couple of listens though, it finally clicked and became the standout track of this EP.
Overall, fans of Brighten's King vs. Queen should definitely be pleased with Early Love as it still contains the melodies and catchy hooks that they're known best by. The only disappointment I have with it is that it just leaves me wanting more. However, the fact that these songs are in no way a disappointment gets me excited for the new full-length that, judging by this release, is already shaping up to be something special.
Good review. I still love there original ep. Just Breathe is their track to beat for me. However, this is still a good and leaves me wanting more also. There christmas track could fit on any record to. that is such a good song.
This EP is really an enjoyable listen, but I don't think it surpasses King VS Queen. I felt King VS Queen had more diversity while in the EP it sounds like they haven't progressed so much. But overall, I really do enjoy listening to the EP though. Good review.