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MUSIC REVIEW: Brett Randell's Rise


Brett Randell's acoustic folk and soul-infused debut EP, Rise, showcases the 28-year-old New Yorker's smooth guitar playing skills and seasoned vocals. The six-track compilation, originally released last August, is highlighted by the opening track, "The Waitress," the catchiest song on an EP that otherwise relies heavily on more subdued offerings.

"The Waitress" is reminiscent of Jason Mraz's signature style of rhythmic guitar chords paired with swiftly sung lyrics. In the song, Randell croons over his newfound love of a waitress, which is like being in "love with the whole damn world," he sings. This is the most upbeat song on the EP, which continues on with more desolate sounding tracks.

The next two tracks "Without You" and the title track are slower arrangements putting emphasis on Randell's emotionally driven lyrics and on his talents as a singer-songwriter.

His track "Ghost" is extremely minimal, with the sole instrumentation coming through as the quiet strum of his acoustic guitar. Lyrics like "The ghost of your love is warm and inviting. It's haunting my heart and tearing my seams" and the music's melancholic vibe are comparable to City and Colour's Dallas Green.

The last song on the EP, "Enigma," has a slower tempo at first, but then picks up toward the middle pumping more energy into the song to invoke more excitement.

All in all, the EP would benefit from a more diverse selection of tracks with varying tempos to keep the listener interested. "The Waitress" track seems to have the most life behind it. While the other songs effectively present Randell's skills as a guitarist and singer-songwriter, they lack the pleasant and catchy jolt "The Waitress" has.

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