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“Strangely delightful and lyrically dexterous”
It’s highly doubtful that Sad Brad Smith’s sole intention is to make his listeners feel melancholy, yet at times while listening to Love is Not What You Need, it’s difficult not to feel a bit somber. With the strangely delightful blend of acoustic guitar folk, lo-fi keyboards and ukulele pop, it somehow suits the lyrical dexterity of this mustachioed, working-class man who was once scrounging for food on the Chicago streets before he got his soundtrack gig with Juno and Up in the Air director Jason Reitman.
Still, the odd propensity for a serious George Clooney comedy doesn’t negate the raw music that leads listeners into Smith’s tribulations and secrets. On “Everyone Knows I’m Still In Love With You,” Smith’s genial moans of “Call me, call me” are accompanied by a bizarre pop rhythm of twinkling keys, as it conveys the man’s unbearable agony that could move even the most stubborn cynic to a frown and tear.
It’s obvious while listening to Love is Not What You Need that Reitman has unearthed a diamond in the rough in Sad Brad Smith, and is potentially proposing a fruitful marriage for Smith and the music jungle. (Self-released)
All songs written and recorded at home by Sad Brad Smith