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Douvan; Thom: Brother Brother

You sure can't knock guitarist and band leader Thom Douvan for a lack of self awareness, for even in the bio-notes that accompany his second release, Brother Brother, he states "Fast and burning? That's not my thing. I'm into soul groove. I like to lay into the pocket." However let me tell you that his pocket must be lain out with feathery down and the plumpest of pillows, for my do the fifteen tracks displayed here sound like they are ever so deep in the comfort zone. So much so in fact, that if you were to be sitting in the lounge of a bar, or a swanky dining room, you'd presume that Thom and his many boys were being piped through the safe for all ages sound system, rather than hidden round the corner "ripping" this out live. What doesn't help is that on an album where cover versions are the order of the day, the selections hardly cry out to be noticed, the list reading like a who's who of the world's most performed songs. I mean, at the risk of sounding harsh, is anyone waiting for yet another instrumental version of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely", the Isley Brothers' "Harvest For The World", or Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On"? I severely doubt it.

The positives, for there are some, are that the musicianship is faultless and the songs, expected and polite though they be, are performed with an undoubted enthusiasm and skill. Yet the biggest compliment I can pay Brother Brother is that it is completely inoffensive and extremely easy to whistle along to. Although I can also testify that it is also rather easy to fall asleep to....

Thom Douvan and the eight other musicians who contribute to this perfectly OK album are all supremely talented individuals and I'd venture that if you did happen upon them playing these songs live in some club somewhere, you'd pronounce at the end of the evening that they were "nice". However if they want to make a real mark, then the merest hint of adventure and at least a few songs that step away from the "norm", really are a must.

Track Listing
1. Harvest For the World
2. That's the Way of the World
3. For the Love of You
4. Anniversary
5. Ain't Nobody
6. You're Welcome, Stop On By
7. What's Going On
8. Sara Smile
9. Isn't She Lovely
10. So Amazing
11. With You I'm Born Again
12. What You Won't Do For Love
13. The Water Is Wide
14. Someday We'll All Be Free
15. If I Ain't Got You

Added: July 21st 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Thom Douvan online
Hits: 1653
Language: english

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