Jim Bryson – Where The Bungalows Roam
Jim Bryson says he's sick of stamping his feet in the same old puddle. Hooray for that because his restless urge to stretch his musical limits has resulted in a third solo album that's rootsier, mellower and more adult than anything we've heard from him before. Not that there was anything wrong with the jangling rock on his first two discs but the restrained arrangements of Where The Bungalows Roam allow the subtler aspects of Bryson's songwriting - his considered lyrics, delicate hooks and damned catchy choruses - to take centre stage for a change. Quirky touches like sudden, theatrical bursts of organ and cello beckon you into this new batch of songs like a pair of bedroom eyes. This is a more tender side of Bryson, a side that was always present in his lyrical themes but one that was sometimes buried by his guitar-shredding solos. This is a lovely evolution for one of Canada's most underrated songwriters, and one that will hopefully help him finally transcend that unfortunate label.