With the spring melting the icy chill of winter, the self-titled EP of Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Phillip Brandon delivers an appropriately sunny ambience, feel-good vibrations pulsing through an electrifying powder keg of funk, jazz, and R&B. With musical inspirations as wildly diverse as Journey
and Luther Vandross
. Oddly enough, Brandon’s music crosses the boundaries between them both, venturing unafraid in giving his soulful approach a feisty guitar kick.
Brandon, who has been involved with The Trans Siberian Orchestra and The Color Purple" Broadway national tour, is no newcomer to the music scene; however, there is an invigorating freshness to the EP that can be viewed more often with blooming young talents. The opening track, “You,” grooves with hip-shaking exuberance. But Brandon has soul to match his infectious energy. His baritone itself becomes an instrument, slicing through synthetic textures and piercing the heart.
Whenever Brandon slows down the tempo and allows the emotional pull of his singing to grab the spotlight, the results are spellbinding. “Turn Around” is a gorgeous ballad, fueled by Brandon’s deep, moving vocals. An acoustic setting on “My Friend” allows Brandon’s voice to really shine as well. Brandon’s effortless transition into rock & roll is impressive as well, especially on “On My Mind.”
Brandon is not an artist who can be pigeonholed; leaping from one genre to another, he shows the new kids how it’s done.