CD Review: Brandon Jenkins, Under The Sun
The Red Dirt Legend’s songwriting skills and strong voice are in full display on his new CD, Under The Sun, which was released this week. Under The Sun comes to us somewhat under the radar because of higher-profile releases by Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle.
Still, Brandon Jenkins is getting some notice. iTunes had him featured on its country section this week. The single, Too Big To Fail, has been on the Texas Music Chart for three weeks already. There’s more to come from this album, as it is jam-packed with good songs.
One of the more interesting tunes is Looking Out For #1, a co-write with Stoney LaRue. Jenkins employs horns on this song, which, as far as I know, is a first for him. It works, and it underscores what Brandon Jenkins listeners will tell you: While he can write a helluva country song, he’s not trapped by genre in any way. This is demonstrated with the rest of the CD, which includes bluesy Texas rock, solid country and some songs that defy classification.
Speaking of writing a good country song, it will surprise me if some other artists don’t try to “borrow” one or two of the tunes from this CD and make them their own. Listening to Too Big To Fail with my wife last night, she commented that it sounds a little like some of the Nashville stuff that I rant about so often. There’s some truth to that. The song has a sound that would be at home on mainstream radio. But that’s not such a bad thing for Brandon Jenkins, since it’s his song. For the “alt” in me, I like the irony in a song that celebrates the permanence of love using a term taken from the financial crisis that almost destroyed us. It’d be cool to see one of the Nashville pretty boys record this one and sing it without irony. Jenkins could smile all the way to the bank.