Album of the week: Questions - David Bronson has all the answers

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 January, 2015, 10:32pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 January, 2015, 10:32pm

David Bronson
Big Arc Records

Releasing three albums in three years will certainly earn you the label of "prolific", so it's no wonder New York-based singer-songwriter David Bronson has such a wonderfully bushy beard - obviously he barely has time to shave in between penning this many tunes of soul-inspired pop rock.

Accomplished as his previous albums of indie-folk were, his third album, Questions, has taken a big artistic step forward. Each of these 11 tracks demonstrate a maturity and new-found confidence in Bronson's songwriting.

Both the opener Songbird ("This life is questions/ But the questions they are mine) with its Paul Simon vibe and gospel choir, and the slick radio-friendly Push with its big singalong chorus ("Sometimes we need a puuush"), are anthems to fill arenas.

With contributions from David Bowie and Iggy Pop's guitarist Carlos Alomar, Bronson's 1970s-infused soul has now taken on a bigger and brighter sound, and the more polished production will surely see his songs reach a much wider audience.

Bronson's falsetto is almost Jeff Buckley-esque on the album highlight Song of Life, and elsewhere there are subtle hints of Ryan Adams and Grant-Lee Phillips.

On first listen it does suffer from sounding all a tad samey, but give it subsequent listens and the often deliberately restrained sound becomes all the more powerful.

It requires your full attention to grasp its soul and beauty.

As he stumbles through the trials and tribulations of his 30s it seems Bronson has already found his musical feet.