Reviews:: Beat Radio The Great Big Sea

There is a lot to like about Brian Sendrowitz. Sure, his outfit - Beat Radio - writes amazing pop songs, but more importantly he embraces everything I like about the music community. Rather than trying to make it on one hit, Brian and the rest of his indie collective is focusing on building a fan base and getting their music out to anyone who will listen. Writing music that fits into whatever style the kids are listening to (post-punk, emo) is one thing. Writing music that is part of who you are is another; nothing truer can be said about Beat Radio.

While this may sound like what everyone is doing, it's not. Brian is a genuine guy, who has reached out to his fans, offering free music without asking for anything in return. How much new material? How about his new album, The Great Big Sea, in its entirety.

While fans of the band may have heard the EP versions of songs like Treetops, Fearful, Elegy and Mexico, they've been remastered and resequenced. The album plays perfectly, probably because it's easy to picture Brian putting his heart and soul into the release. From the beautiful intro track, They Took the Sound out of Sound to the closing notes of The Places I've Been, you realize that this isn't the same Beat Radio. Sure the hooks are still there, but now they are mixed with subtle percussion and mood setting strings, making the final output that much stronger.

Fearful is a great example of how the extra time he put in really completes the new versions of the songs. Adding lush strings and percussion that come together in a swirling climax, transforms this song from a singer/songwriter demo to a pop song that you want to listen to over and over again. Adding a banjo and a plucky riff makes Ancient as the Stars no. 2 pop. I guess you can get my point.

The album also has some new material that fits perfectly with the remastered versions of his older work, like the bubbley, backbeated track Everything is Temporary or the catchy pop riff of Another Loveless Anthem. Brian and his friends have found their sound on this release, and rest firmly on the cusp of something big. This album is complete, from start to finish.

Sure it's free, so grab it. Listen to it, and love it. But when the album is pressed, spend the cash to help Brian keep making these kind of songs.

Here are a few tracks to listen to::
MP3:: Treetops
MP3:: Fearful

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