This self-titled, self-produced album from Brenda Berezan is an interesting blend of ballads, tales and folk wisdom. Produced in Haines Junction, this six-song cd reveals a look at life and love that exudes honesty and wisdom from the first note.
I first listened to this cd while walking the trails behind my home. With the early afternoon sun shining low through the trees and my hound off in search of doggy delights I was well able to concentrate on this thoughtful album.
Deep Inside opens the album and sets the tone of wanderlust and melancholy, “You can only go so far/ from deep inside where you are”.
Swept Away is a soldier’s song in the best tradition. Stepping up to serve, looking forward to coming home and with a solid chorus repeating ends as an elegy.
This is not to say that the songs herein are depressing, far from it .The overall feeling I received from this album was thoughtful reassessment and moving forward. Line by line the listener is drawn into complex stories and characters. Allowing the characters to become real in this sense is Berezans compositional strength.
The subtext to Built My House is a tribute to the reality of a strong home base and relation to the land you come from and call your home. While I was listening to it I thought that the larger issue of Zen philosophy of home construction in the face of natural disasters might save the homeowner a bit of time. This song would swing with a tempo change.
On Mars is the strong song on the album. An almost haunting look at a dead relationship, the protagonist looks back on salad days but comes back to the harsh choices of the present. At times this song feels heavy enough to support a Pink Floyd style synthesizer solo. Just a thought, this song might be an interesting remix project for someone so inclined.
The majority of the songs have a feeling of moving on, from whatever present or past choice, bad step or relationship. At first we may feel melancholy but the resolving lyric seems to always hand us hope and the strength to move forward.
The Woods is an example of this activist feeling. Learn to be human using the forest as a teacher with the full knowledge that to others the trees are merely commodity. “ So hold on to your life and your soul/ for these woods will keep you whole”
“…How the world could be if we were willing” is the refrain from A Wild Man Dreams (For Tony Bird). This tune is an out and out ode to Africa specifically and nature in general. A very upbeat song to complete this cd.
Berezan sometimes wears her heart on her sleeve. This minor indulgence can be forgiven when you take into account the myriad emotions that are swimming around this collection of songs.