Rock'n'soul action from vocalist Shawn Smith and Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard

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Brad – Welcome To Discovery Park

Brad were always the lesser of honey-voiced Seattle crooner Shawn Smith’s trio of bands, being less rockin’ than Satchel and less audaciously experimental than Pigeonhed. However, since most everything Smith touches verges on heartbreaking genius, such distinctions mean little, and with this third album Brad have produced a minor masterpiece.

Mellow marvels such as “Brothers And Sisters” and “Takin’ It Easy” recall the effortless FM stylings of Abandoned Luncheonette-era Hall & Oates, while “Revolution” and “All Is One” suggest a familiarity with that same duo’s 1974 distorto-soul oddity War Babies. “Never Let Each Other Down” is something else entirely, featuring Smith bathed in richly emotional hues which showcase that gorgeously fragile and dignified voice to devastating effect.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll rejoice that Lewis Taylor isn’t the only artist out there doing this kind of thing.