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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brittany Campbell - Nerd [EP]

Brittany Campbell - Nerd [EP]
2011, Brittany Campbell

New York City-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Brittany Campbell walks the musical edge.  Stylistic boundaries fall aside in Campbell’s path on her debut EP, Nerd. 

Nerd shows an artist on the verge of finding something great, but perhaps still caught in her own pre-conceptions of what she should sound like to find the sound ticking around inside of her songs.  "Clown" is a catchy dance number that's a bit sophomoric lyrically, but is highly entertaining.  Campbell builds a great dance vibe here, and her voice is distinctive and original.  The "Turn me on/turn me off" repetition is a bit too much, but will probably play well in the dance clubs where music is more about feel than sound.  "So Cold" and "DJ" both play on the edges of consumable pop music, with "DJ" standing out among the two.  Campbell builds in some nice vocal harmonies here in a solid dance tune.

Campbell stretches her vocal range upward on "Maybes", an exercise that doesn't work out to her benefit.  The tone and sound of her voice is an exquisite and easily acquired taste, but the effort and marginal melody here just don't make a good fit.  "Goody Goody" is a wonderfully quirky and accessible pop tune, and Campbell is at her best vocally here.  This song has real potential, and could get some serious looks from pop, dance and urban programmers.  "Nerd" might just be the counter-culture pop anthem of the year, with Campbell's distinctive voice playing off against a catchy dance beat.  Nerd closes with a dance mix of the title track; a likely effective single for the club circuit, but not really an improvement on the original.

Brittany Campbell has a voice that's instantly distinguishable, the sort you'll remember forever after hearing once.  Her vocal style is quirky and fun, but song selection will always be key for Campbell, as her voice occasionally finds musical wells where it just doesn't play as well.  When Campbell is on her game she's incredibly entertaining and fun.  The songwriting plays to lighter fare, but is generally quite well done throughout Nerd.  Brittany Campbell has big potential.  Nerd shows that she can use her talents and quirky sensibilities in concert to create enjoyable tunes, but it does sound as if Campbell is still working to distinguish herself and her muse from her own pre-conceptions.  When she finally makes that break, look out.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Brittany Campbell at or  Nerd is available for download via and iTunes. 

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