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I find you have to listen a few times to the CD Perfect World...you may miss it's treasures the first time through. It reaches inside you more with every listen. It's rich and subtle weave is best heard with superior sound systems. My favourite so far being the Nissan Maxima dolby sound system.

This record contains all of life's hurts and memories. On first listening you may think it sad, some do, but it transforms sad into something wonderful. Brian is a hard rocker and he has softened his blows on this offering. He was a short puncher in the past. Good with combination blows, a surprizingly great scrapper according to his life long friend, Ross R...but on this album Brian takes the edge off the rage and puts the love inside a closed fist...as you listen through the fist opens into a hand and the hand becomes a bridge and the bridge leads you to awareness and in awareness lies life's only sureities. Brian has lived, sure, he's lived hard, played all of the small towns in Canada, busted his guts rocking the outposts on Vancouver Island, he's played all the hits, he's watched the patrons fight, he's seen strippers lose themselves in his music - right down in front. His band has been a favourite of bikers and drug dealers and all the other kinds of people as well.

Brian has a new Martin acoustic guitar and he plays it with immaculate confidence. The sound is deeper than you'd expect, the resonations are full-bodied like a spectacular new wine, birthed through a lifetime, but the arrival is fresh, bold, certain, full of playful flourishes, subtle crazy things, things you don't expect, but you have to listen. Brian's record doesn't do the work for you. It asks you to commit to a journey. The journey is more than worth it...it's a man's life, what he's learned, what he didn't learn, what he couldn't figure out, what has become obvious, what will never be figured out. It's all there. This is written in the air as Brian coaxes new sounds from this ancient instrument. There's is a kind of jazz subtext to this record. It's as if the artist can't let himself admit that he's matured, fully matured, he's hiding this maturation, but it's there in grandeur.

Brian has a wonderful lead voice, but he also can harmonize better than anybody I know. As good as David Crosby or Graham Nash...his harmonies with himself are blissful. It's like the Everly Brothers are riding shotgun with him. Brian's voice is changing from the raw choke and growl of rock n roll to a kind of deep whisper...his voice carries the rock era, the punk era, the folk era, and now it fills the head with new images. What those images are you'll have to find your own, for me, I see a man at the beginning of a new road, it's misty, fog drapped, but with absolute patches of clarity.

Brian's music says goodbye to old loves and obsessions...he's accepted the world on its own terms, but that doesn't mean he has to like it. My favourite three cuts are Strange as it May Seem, Highway of Tears, and The Sky's Alive....these are melodic masterpieces which he plays like a master buddha. The old rockers are included, but with new insights...they dance a little for us and bounce, but we're asked to come home at the end and sit on the front porch with him and look at out at the wonder of the world. And what a wonder. I love this music and this man.

Layne Coleman




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