A review of For the Dream by Craig Andrew Browne

One could easily imagine Casey Chambers turning, say, “Last Year,” into an almost whispered ode to the fickle passing of love stories, Wendy Matthews turning “Lord Take me Now” into a heady spiritual, or even Don Spencer turning “Walk Upon my Land,” into a funky, action oriented song for children (he’d have to keep in Browne’s whistling since it fits the tune perfectly).

Reviewed by Magdalena Ball

For the Dream
by Craig Andrew Browne
Relatively Creative Pty Ltd
October 2005
http://www.craigandrewbrowne.com

Take a dose of John Denver at his gritty best, mix in a little Harry Chapin and Don McLean, and add a dash of the wordy honesty of Paul Kelly and you’ll get a sense of Craig Andrew Browne‘s style. His first CD, For the Dream, is a collection of heartfelt songs , designed to inspire others to share his joy in living. The songs are simple and generous, tackling topics which are mainly inspirational. There is nothing avante garde or jarring here. In a way which is refreshing in this day of dark dirges and covert hatred, Browne sings and plays confidently, accompanied mainly by the crisp clean sound of his acoustic guitar. Although Browne, and co-producer Blake Robinson polish the songs with a range of other instruments from keyboards to drums, cello and electric guitar, the overall effect is that of one-on-one intimacy , with the gentle rhythms taking a subtle backstage to the strong singing and upbeat words that drive eleven songs which make up this CD. The songs explore topics like meeting your dreams, living authentically, sharing the beauty of a moment, letting go of possessions and fear, and accepting the inevitable loss that goes with life:

when I looked out this morning I saw something was new and I caught a way through the trees the higher the mountain the better the view ‘cause ships are for crossing the seas rainbows and fables can fool with your mind but magic is truly at play (My New Life)

Although Browne is a capable and distinctive performer, singing exuberantly in a folksy Aussie twang, the songs are classic and simple enough to be moulded into different shapes in the hands of different performers. One could easily imagine Casey Chambers turning, say, “Last Year,” into an almost whispered ode to the fickle passing of love stories, Wendy Matthews turning “Lord Take me Now” into a heady spiritual, or even Don Spencer turning “Walk Upon my Land,” into a funky, action oriented song for children (he’d have to keep in Browne’s whistling since it fit’s the tune perfectly). The CD comes with a lyric list which is followed by a line or two of explanation.

These are songs which easily cross the barriers of age and genre, and would be as suitable for a youthful audience as they are for an older one, and as appealing to those who love classic country as those who prefer gentle folk songs. Browne’s teaching and presenting background is obvious in the clarity of his message, and the way in which he seeks to draw in and inspire his audience. I think that we can expect to hear a lot more about this talented songwriter, both in terms of his own performances, and in terms of what others will be able to do with these very accessible and appealing songs. For more information and track samples, visit www.craigandrewbrowne.com

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