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coverpic flag US - Michigan - Full Moon 100 - 11/26/04

Brandon Wiard
Painting a Burning Building
Cerberus Records

Brandon Wiard makes smart pop in a very accomplished way on his new CD. There are shades of Elvis Costello and the Posies in the approach.

"Miss Michigan" has plenty of delightful melodic hooks and a clever lyric about a girl. "Since You've Gone away" treats the familiar subject of a breakup with elan. Wiard has deft lyric and sounds like Costello when he sings. The lovely "Caroline" is a sweet ballad that tells the beloved to leave. The strings are nicely arranged and don't smother the song. "Permanent Smile" sees someone's perfect façade slipping and has Wiard singing "I'd settle for a beautiful frown".

"Moving on" is a new wavey number which is a duet with the feisty Kara Dupuy. "Second Story" shows an ambitious side to Wiard. He's got a knack for writing both more complex material as well as snappy pop songs. This is a special record.

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