I first fell in love with Brett Dennen when I heard “Ain’t No Reason” from one of his older albums. Then I saw his long ginger hair, blue eyes and black-rimmed nerd glasses and was hooked.
Dennen’s new album, “Loverboy,” was released April 12, and it’s no disappointment. Dennen experiments with genres such as pop, reggae, blues and folk, making the album diverse. Even with so many genres, “Loverboy” isn’t disconnected. Dennen’s unique voice and soul connects everything together very well.
With a title like “Loverboy,” the listener has to know that the album will more than likely be a lot about love, and it is. I’m not complaining. Most of the time it’s hidden a little better within the clever lyrics than other typical love songs. I’m only curious as to why Dennen decided to make an album so centered on love.
“Loverboy” opens up with the track “Surprise, Surprise.” And surprise, surprise, it’s as excellent as I expected. Dennen sings, “Open up your eyes; it’s happening all around you,” about being open to new experiences. “If it hasn’t found you, you know it’s just a matter of time.”
Moving on down the track list, the fifth song, “Sydney (I’ll Come Running),” is a definite highlight of “Loverboy.” It’s relatable and peppy. Dennen’s vocal variety is not only pleasing to listen to, but I could really feel his passion as well. After listening to the song a couple times, I found myself singing the chorus in the shower, walking to class, driving in my car, etc. “Straight from the airport (I’ll come runnin’), cut through the customs line (I’ll come runnin’), bust down the courthouse doors (I’ll come runnin’). Sydney, I will testify.”
Stepping up to the genre plate is “Make You Fall In Love with Me” with a ska twist. It has every element to make up a ska song—piano, bass line, maracas and, of course, trumpet. For the ska musical element alone, “Make You Fall In Love with Me” is another highlight of the album. Plus, it’s just a song that fits on an album entitled “Loverboy.”
“Only Rain” features an organ, which is an interesting element in the song. It also gives the song a sadder feel to it, which is totally appropriate. Dennen’s songs include a lot of unique instruments that you don’t hear much in the mainstream music scene. It’s fascinating to listen to his music and pick out all of the different instruments.
Dennen covers so many human feelings in “Loverboy” besides just love. He covers things like the experience of losing someone to things like thinking of someone all of the time. Because he makes his lyrics so relatable and his music so diverse and interesting to hear, not to mention his voice is perfect to sing along with, Brett Dennen is a definite success, and so is “Loverboy.”