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Bryn Christopher - Smilin'

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Grant | 11:07 UK time, Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Bryn ChristopherSometimes you can be lucky enough to hear a voice so good that it leaves you wide-eyed and open-mouthed with possibly a little bit of dribble escaping from the corner of your mouth. There is no doubt Bryn Christopher has one of those voices. It's soulful, powerful and extremely addictive. Unfortunately, you have to be even luckier to find a song good enough to match the voice, or at least catchy enough to support it.

This is the dilemma of Smilin' by Bryn Christopher.

Below is what I guess a normal conversation about Bryn Christopher would sound like:

Man: I went to the most amazing gig last night. Have you heard of Bryn Christopher? I mean what a voice! It really is something else.

Woman: Who does he sound like?

Man: Like a mixture between Otis Reading, Amy Winehouse, Sam Cooke, David Jordan and Cee-Lo Green.

Woman: Who?

Man: That guy from Gnarls Barkley.

Woman: Wow, he sounds great. Would I know any of his stuff?

Man: He did that song a little while ago called... oh I can't remember. Anyway he's got another one out now called... err... it's... you know that song? Something about laughing, or was it frowning?

Hence the problem arises. As much as you want to love Smilin', it seems impossible to. It's not that the song is terrible. It's just it should have been given to a voice that wasn't as capable as Bryn's. It should have been given to someone like [insert incapable singer here].

The song starts well enough, moving quickly from its pop intro to a more retro-soul sounding verse, but it's always a worry when you enjoy the verse of a song more than the chorus. I was desperate for the song to reach its crescendo, so I could hear more of the technical excellence Bryn has in his voice, but it just didn't come.

But do not give up hope quite yet. Bryn's debut single The Quest shows off an original jazzy and bluesy sounding soul, which hopefully his forthcoming album will mirror.

Three starsCD Released: September 1st

(Grant Black)



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