Owen Brady – Prepare To Be Happy (Sony)
Midway through Prepare To Be Happy, Owen Brady sings about yet another love affair, admitting how he’d ‘written a song to string her along, I knew it was wrong‘. It’s the best line on a record devoted to love, heartbreak and doing the nasty, all wrapped up in some admittedly slick keyboard and guitar lines.
In between the loverman lyrics, there are some genuinely interesting moments: the smooth vocals over the R n’ B bassline on -Lowdown’ and the lazy blues delivery of -Sun Shining Down’, for instance. However, hanging in long enough to find those moments proves difficult. Brady’s voice has an air of Benjamin Diamond, which is always a compliment, but unlike that particular French dance hero, when it comes to genuine emotion, Brady tends to keep it in check when you’d prefer him to let rip.
Throughout the 12 songs, there’s plenty of decent studio noodling, a great keyboard riff here and there, but sew the whole thing together and it sounds like a record that never got out of first gear. If you leave the room for 10 minutes, chances are you’ll think the same song is on when you get back, such are the recurring themes of sun, sand, sea and lurve.
Brady certainly shows potential, and he may have been let down by a tendency towards over-production rather than merely bad songwriting. There are efforts to liven things up at times, but these generally fall flat, with some fairly drab choruses again hampered by studio overkill. A missed opportunity.
~ John Joe Worrall
Owen Brady – promo video