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Music Review - 'Overdue' by Severin Browne (dm)

Severin Browne - Overdue (Click to watch the video)

27 June 2021

 

Black

Severin Browne writes songs with emotional resonance and lyrical creativity. His stories of ordinary life made dramatic, tearful, and evocative recall the work of similar soft rock, slightly country singer/songwriters, such as James Taylor and the non-synth Kenny Loggins.

His new record, Overdue, is an exercise in vulnerability and intimacy. “On My Way to Play,” a moving tribute to his father,” is a particularly adept example. Browne writes about how his father always encouraged his exploration and ambition, and it is still his the face of his father, now deceased from Alzheimer’s, that he sees in his audiences in the bars of California.

Browne has assembled an impressive variety of musicians to accompany his performances, often giving his songs a surprising range. Rather than simple and sparse singer/songwriter arrangements, he welcomes the sounds of trumpet, Hammond B-3, and backup singers. When he does drift back to familiar singer/songwriter territory, such as on the sentimental ballad, “My Friends are All Around Me,” he writes and sings with a clarity of emotional resonance.

“Miguel and Maria” brings a predictable, but enjoyable Latin-flavor to a story-song about Mexican immigrants seeking refuge in the United States. The song humanizes the people who risk life and limb for the safety and freedom that Americans take for granted, giving necessary pushback to right wing hatred and demagoguery.

Browne’s voice is thin, and in certain moments when he stretches to the limits, his vocal limitations distract from the songs themselves, but his voice is an honest and thoughtful one all the same.

  

 David Masciotra

 

 

David Masciotra (www.davidmasciotra.com) is the author of four books, including Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing, 2017) and Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky, 2015).

To read all of David's reviews, click here 

  

 

 

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