Reviews:: Brian Sendrowitz When It Comes On Like a Dream

Everything is temporary - it's a song title from Beat Radio, but I think it's also Brian Sendrowitz's philosophy of life. Over the last few years, Brian has recorded and re-recorded tracks and offered them up for free to anyone who takes the time to listen. He's not overly concerned with where music takes him financially, assuming the journey he's taking each time he picks up the guitar will be it's own reward. Emotions and memories change over time, and these songs are his way of never forgetting, but still moving on.

While the pop friendly ditties he's penned for Beat Radio have taken off, his solo work is still sort of a hidden treasure. If you looked at Beat Radio as the sounds of summer, his solo record - When It Comes on Like A Dream - resembles the change of season when you pull your zipper of your coat to the top with frustration and try to appreciate the coloration of the leaves before they float aimlessly to the ground. It's the time when the shine of your summer love starts to tarnish and you are left wondering if it's better to be alone. It's when you start searching for answers, both outside and in.

I first heard this record on my flight to NY and the emotional outbursts on tracks like Planes Fly By really helped soundtrack my trip. At first, I tossed out a track on a herohill comp - Television - with a kind of backhanded, haphazard stab at his sound ("Front man for Beat Radio’s more stripped down acoustic side. At times strikes me a bit like David Gray. Hopefully that doesn’t turn people off, because it is a great song") that is less than fitting as I listen again.

Maybe it's because it has been so long since I've revisited the record, but the sounds that once struck me as lo-fi and spare, are actually nicely textured and polished. I don't remember the bouncy bass line that grabs your ear on the chorus of Looking For You, but now I can't focus on anything else as I nod along happily. Before, when I listened to The Way it Shines, I focused on his reference to Desolation Angels and pictured a young song writer searching books for influence and inspiration. Now I hear the static that buzzes with optimism, and see the never ending hope he gets from his music. As he and Vanessa trade vocals, I wonder how I ever pictured this song as anything but complete.

I listen to Never Feels Like Home and hear a singer pleading to his lover, trying to focus their attention on comforts as everything unravels around them. I missed the symbolism of Brian pointing out the simple things that will help her want to stay - a bottle of wine, Blonde on Blonde, Buffalo 66 - and assumed he was writing about things he thought people wanted to hear. Instead, he's opening up and grasping at straws, as he begs her to stay. I listen to Rosaline and finally notice the honesty that exudes from the subdued strums.

All too often, we rush through records like we rush through life. We make judgments and move on. We assume that what we see on the surface is the truth and Brian proves us wrong with this record. It took a week of really sitting down and opening my ears before I saw that. I think you all should do the same.
MP3:: Planes Fly By
MP3:: Never Feels Like Home

Download the whole thing for free @ beatradio.org or better yet, download it for free then head over and pay for Great Big Sea. In a world where people are always asking for something, here's a guy who doesn't ask for anything more than your time, knowing how valuable each second is.


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