Kirby Brown

Child Of Calamity (Self-released)

It would be easy to pass off Kirby Brown as another in the short list of local Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights wannabe acts. Brown, after all, cites several of The Northern Lights in the liner-note credits of his solo debut album, Child Of Calamity. He lists the rest in the "Thank You" section.

But on Calamity, Brown has created something far denser and more layered than anyone in that camp ever has. The disc bounces back and forth from bombastic to sincere, and mostly the latter. Sometimes Brown rides the line—most successfully on the album's best cut, "No, My Generation," a rootsy Brit-pop number, in which his vocal carries the classic UK timbre of The Charlatans singer Tim Burgess.

Other standout tracks include "Coattails," into which Brown injects a country verse. And when the chorus arrives, we see his biggest strength: his sense of melody. His capability as a lyricist isn't far behind—although he occasionally sacrifices sincerity for style. Lyrics about getting strung out ("My First Love, Maria") come off as a stretch, given Brown's fresh face and obvious penchant for The Rolling Stones.

But Calamity's strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. And thanks to the memorable hooks that fill the record, Brown shows himself here as a young artist with great potential.

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I think Kirby is one of the most sincere artists to hit this city in many years. You may have to know him personally to understand, but to anyone who thinks he is imitating in any way, you are sadly mistaken. Just check out the show this Friday at LaGrange and you will understand. Do Not discount this artist, and believe me, he's not any Jonathan Tyler imitator, the subtle similarities run deep for a reason. I can tell you for sure once you see Kirby perform live, you will be in love. Pure and true rock n roll through and through... But don't take my word for it, come check it out on Friday....

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