Hearing that Brett Detar had a solo record coming out got me excited. Hearing that he was giving it away as a free download, was even better. I’ve been a huge fan of Detar’s from his guitar work in Zao to his crazy rock and roll frontman antics in The Juliana Theory. And I honestly thought I’d be hearing a more low key Julian Theory. You know, the singer/songwriter version. Instead Detar throws a curve ball and Bird In the Tangle is a country album.
Unlike Mike Herrea’s country side project Tumbledown, which has a lot of punk and rockabilly in the music, Detar’s solo effort is more of a pure country sound. It’s simple and understated at times. It draws more from a bluesy side of country music.
It’s the understated side of the album that works best. The opening track, Empty House on a Famous Hill, is a simple acoustic guitar and lap steel are the only accompaniment to Detar’s voice, creating a beautiful somber song. It’s a great start to the record. It’s Only the Night is another sad and somber song, with an almost waltzing movement, that again plays so beautifully. Coasts, A Miner’s Prayer, and Caged Bird are all fantastic songs that keep things simple and somber.
But interspersed all these really lovely songs, is a darker, bluesier tone, the most successful of the tracks being The Devil’s Gotta Earn. While the songs are good, their just missing an attitude… That feeling of being really pissed that they need to be great songs.
It might be a more successful country record then Tumbledown’s Empty Bottle but it’s not as good an overall record. However, there are some really amazing and beautiful moments on Bird in the Tangle and the album is worth a listen. Plus, it’s a free download so I do suggest you check this album out.
You can download the record here http://brettdetar.com/