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Bryan Eich
Sleeping By a Wire
July 7, 2007

Bryan Eich is a burgeoning pop mastermind that cannot possibly remain in obscurity for long. On his debut, Sleeping By a Wire, Eich weaves dreamy, wistful ballads like “Can’t Wait for Long,” that are produced with indisputable acumen and written with a sensibility that rivals the classics. Effective arrangements and instrumentation aside, one example of the studio smarts at play would be the reverb occasionally added to Eich’s flawless, honey-n-sand tenor. It’s impressively judicious, adding just the right sense of depth and distance without compromising intimacy or clarity. The entire album is treated with such expert consideration, which only enhances what lays at the root – strong, golden songs of love and loss that, despite the well-worn subject, are fully original and thoroughly compelling.

“Everything” pulls some fancy studio tricks out of the hat, cutting suddenly through various atmospherics, including some scratchy-vinyl moments toward the end. “One That I Like” dabbles with electronic ornamentation, but remains rooted enough in the organic (Eich’s voice, some slight guitar, a harp stum) as to keep its feet close enough to the solid ground laid elsewhere throughout the album. “Time Will Come Over You” is smooth and longing like Wilco, with guitar accents and a bridge that reference the Beatles yet with perfect modesty. It’s no small feat to drop such stylistic hints without being either grandiose or derivative; Eich knows what he’s doing. Here’s to hoping some mighty label swoops in and snatches Bryan up, as not only does his sensibility thrive in the midst of quality production, but this kind of bulls-eye pop satisfaction deserves nothing short of airwave domination. The world would be a little sweeter with more Eich-waves in the radiosphere.  

Favorite Track: “Time Will Come Over You”

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Steve Gunn is a hard-boiled suburban New Yorker with a PhD in rockology and the propensity to point with full-throttle moxie up to his ears and unflinchingly declare, “Hey! These things ain’t garbage cans, y’know!”

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