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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Review: Brett Mitchell - Small House

Brett Mitchell – Small House
2007, Brett Mitchell

Saginaw, Michigan native Brett Mitchell is creating a fair amount of buzz in the mid-west. Honest, insightful songwriting buoyed by a great melodic sense lift his second album, Small House, to soaring heights. Compared to the likes of Marshall Crenshaw and artist Georgia O’Keefe, Mitchell certainly makes an impression on listeners. With a talented backing band (The giant Ghost) consisting of Rick Manges and Scott VanDell (revolving lead guitarists), Mike Cramton (percussion, formerly of Robert Bradley Blackwater Surprise) and Bill Hall (bass), Mitchell crafts a sound that is at once familiar and original.

Small House opens with Born Too Late, a fun little rock anthem regretting the accident of birth known as time. It’s a hindsight is 20/20 song with a great hook and a melody that will stick in your brain. Small House is a wonderfully melodic pop tune with an almost virally infectious sound. Friend takes on a darker, more acoustic sound on its way to a moment of pop near-perfection. Mitchell opens things up a bit on New Disease, an infectious guitar-rock tune you’ll want to put on continuous play. Hypocrite is another personal favorite, infusing funk and soul into an amazing pop creation. This is the best song on the album, but several others are close (Small House, New Disease).

OCD is a deliciously demented waltz you have to hear to believe, while Night Glasses is a lovely epic story in music that highlights Mitchell’s ability to tell dark stories in the world of mostly peppy popular music. Mitchell reaches down deep and serves up Consider Me Gone, a Bob Dylan sound-alike. You’ll also want to check out Neighbors, Good Intentions and Onion.

Brett Mitchell brings a wonderfully melodic sense to his songwriting that is almost British in nature. Mitchell’s distinctive voice and organic arrangements combine to create songs that are literally works of beauty. Small House is a wonderful surprise and very much deserves to be heard. If you make just one foray onto the World Wide Web this week to check out new music, make sure Brett Mitchell is at the top of your list.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn all about Brett Mitchell at You can purchase a copy of Small House at

1 comment:

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