CD Review: Tim Brantley

By Matt Amato
Special to Metromix
February 3, 2009

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Local musician makes strong debut with “Goldtop Heights”

Remember hearing Springsteen’s “Born to Run” the first time? It punched hard, that whole piano-drum-melody-xylophone-stomp thing, didn’t it? Even those not taken by The Boss will forget for a second when hearing the song again on the radio, spontaneously bursting into a “whoa!” as Bruce breaks up the verse with a hint of cheese.

Tim Brantley’s got a bit of that—not the cheese, but a commanding sound that sticks regardless of preferences. From track one on debut album “Goldtop Heights”—that track’s got the same name—you feel like you’ve heard it before, but in a positive sense.

And to an extent you have. You know, for example, how Elton John’s piano defined his songs and the way Hall and Oates stuck to a rigid, yet pleasing melody structure. Well, so does Brantley.

The trick is immersing those elements and making them your own, which Brantley masters with aplomb. An understanding of these concepts gives the album a sense of rejuvenation. The feat is more impressive considering he didn’t earnestly embrace music until his early 20s, having given up playing the piano as a child.

“I grew up with a lot of ’70s rock,” Brantley explains on his MySpace site. “My mom used to play Carole King all the time. I naturally gravitate to that kind of sound; there’s a warmth and timelessness to it that I’ve always loved.”

Once unleashed, Brantley’s knack for songwriting led to the creating of a three-piece band. Astounded friends even clubbed together to purchase equipment for the cash-strapped artist.

Having been signed, the Loganville native spends much of his time recording or on the road, as evidenced by the wealth of radio spots recently accumulated around the country.

“There was a lot of trial and error that went into the album,” he said on MySpace. “The songwriting is far more detailed, and that was reflected in how I recorded. We recorded 25 songs, and I picked 10. I spent months on certain songs, refining them until I thought they were just right.”

 Original Article.

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