Artist: Brant Westran
CD Review: ACOUSTASOUL
By: Dan Brisebois
An intriguing collection of acoustically driven melodies with thought-provoking lyrics best describes Brant Westran’s second solo CD, ACOUSTASOUL, the first on his B-Shan Records label.
Ani Difranco, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, and Trevor Johnsen are just some of the artists Westran lists as his influences. With nothing other than a soulful voice and seldom accompanied by anything other than an acoustic guitar, piano and bass, the album is reflective of the Princeton, BC native’s own personality and experiences – the songs a reflection of his own person. The lead-off “Here By Myself” draws on deep personal loneliness, wishing he could turn back the hands of time and have the one true love of his life.
“Hold You Down” is the flip side of those emotions, having to let that person in that same role go. Sometimes heart-wrenching and always personal, “Oxygen” is the story of a person’s attempt to take their own life, about as deep and personal as a song can get. “I Don’t Know You,” “I Wouldn’t Have Asked,” “Still I’ll Play For You,” “When I see You Again” and “You Told Me So” are just some of the sentiment-filled songs that fill the 14 original tracks. “I Don’t Know You” is a reworking of the song that appeared on his debut album in 2005.
Released in 2006, ACOUSTASOUL is a deeply personal collection of stories and reflections from the heart and soul, where Westran relies on his own convictions to relay his message. He recorded the album while in Japan, and gets a helping hand from Tomoko Uyeda and Masashi Kiku on some tracks. Self-produced and bristling with emotion, Brant Westran’s ACOUSTASOUL is a sure winner with anyone able to see life in its complexities. He draws from his personal experiences with loneliness, longing and living, making the album one of the most honest and sincere you’ll hear.