Big Old World CD - Big Feather

On Big Old World, his second full-length recording, Brandon Stanley sits precariously astride a fence dividing a vast pop-rock prairie from a rootsy and fertile farmland. It’s a position not uncommonly occupied by the megastar purveyors of what passes as “country” music these days, and I can’t say it’s a place I care to spend all that much time in.

Stanley leans to commonplace pop-rock arrangements, but everything here has a rootsy under-pinning highlighted by his warm, slight drawl of a voice. The songwriting is pretty standard fare, competent enough but never really taking off. The standout cut is a ballad called “Run.” It gets an emotionally engaging reading from Stanley, which nonetheless can’t cut it loose from a dragging beat that anchors the song in quicksand.

By Michael Meade



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