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Music Review - `Overdue` by Severin Browne (dmac)

Severin Browne - Overdue  (click on image to watch video)

 2 June 2021

 

Black

Severin Browne mentions in his biography how he’s from a musical family. That’s not unusual. Many musicians grow up with music being created all around them. However, his brother is also the famous Jackson Browne, which makes Severin’s familial upbringing akin to a royal (musical) family. It’s difficult knowing this, not to compare Severin to his celebrated older brother. Yet doing so would be unfair. For starters, both men are vastly different singer/songwriters, with completely different artistic aims. It is, indeed, an apples and oranges scenario -- to say the least. While Jackson is often a fiery socio-political commentator, Severin is far more of a gentle, James Taylor-styled folk-pop artist. Both are talented artists that have followed distinctly dissimilar muses. The younger Browne’s album, Overdue, is a sweet, heartfelt collection of songs that play out like comfort food to the ear.

Although politics doesn’t play too big a role in this Browne’s songs, there is one conspicuous exception. The Mexican music-styled “Miguel and Maria” tells the story about a romantic pair who, along with their small daughter Lucia, aspire to cross the border from Mexico into the United States. This is no anti-ICE rant, however, but is instead a warmly told story about a couple with big dreams. Browne sings more of a personal love song with “I Am and I Will.” Powered by a rhythmic groove colored with rocking organ, this one is nothing less than an inspired and inspiring song of romantic devotion. Along the way, it includes sparse acoustic piano and electric guitar solos. 

Browne closes the album with “Quiet Night,” a soft, jazzy groove-of-a-song. It sets the mood of hushed romanticism. Brown sings it jazzily – but not in a schmaltzy manner – over tinkled piano notes and jazz guitar chords. He takes a song that could have easily gone off the rails, and makes it come off undeniably sincere. The album opens with a song that only a man of experience can sing. “Young And Free” relishes in the unbridled joy of being, well, both young and free. Sometimes, such nostalgic sentiments can be a little sad; as though someone has taken just too many trips down memory lane. Many of these lyrical exercises are filled with a regret that the good times will never be quite as good again. Toward the end of the song, Severin announces how he’s too “busy being young and free” to ever remain living in the past. His freedom began young and has stuck with him – even in his latter years. 

The album’s title track is a folkish tune accented by harmonica, female backing vocals and a horn section. It is, simply put, about Browne’s deep love of creating music. Who knew this kid, who started his music introduction with the dreaded accordion (with apologies to Weird Al), who can now look back on a life filled with writing and sharing his music? This track also has a slight Santana vibe running through it.

Just as politics only play a small part in Overdue, the same thing can be said about sad songs. Nevertheless, the teary “Leaving You Is The Hardest Thing I’ve Known,” about the act of separating from a lover, is truly a tragic lyrical end to a romance.

Severin Browne isn’t loud enough to rock your world, but wholly able to find quiet a place in your heart. If you haven’t tasted and seen that Browne’s music is good, well, you’re way overdue. 

 

Music Reviewer - Dan MacIntosh

 

Dan MacIntosh - Dan MacIntosh has been a professional music journalist for 30 years and his work has regularly appeared in many local and national publications, including Inland Empire Weekly, CCM, CMJ, Paste, Mean Street, Chord, HM, Christian Retailing, Amplifier, Inspirational Giftware, Stereo Subversion, Indie-Music, Soul–Audio, Roughstock.com, Country Standard Time and Spin.com. 

To Read All of Dan's Reviews, Click Here

 

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