Brokenness
"ICU In Dandylions"

(Brokenness Productions 2002)Brokenness - ICU In Dandylions

Heartwarming and personal, "ICU In Dandylions" by Brokenness is an album that has more feeling than a majority of albums out there. The songs, all of which were written by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist/percussionist Regan Barger, cover Barger's experiences with divorce, being a father and drug addition, among other things. "ICU In Dandylions" flows easily with his Julian Lennon-ish sounding songs as you learn about Barger and come to realize that in the end, he is just a guy who loves his daughter.

Starting with the slow "Mr. Indecision," Barger sets the tone for the album: "He'd love to please everybody/And no broken hearts." Picking up the tempo and adding a likable poppy feel, "I Feel Bad," gives you the back story on Barger without getting too serious or tedious while "Junkie" is mid tempo with vocals that blend nicely together and an understated organ solo. With an intro reminiscent to The Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," "Selfish Sadness" is slower with a sultry side. About the birth of his daughter, "Grain of Sand" returns to guitar pop and occasional falsetto shrills a la John or Julian while "Never Be The Same" is a poppy and memorable shuffle. On the quieter and whimsical "Look At Me" Barger wants "you to know your daddy still cares" and, on "Embrace," that "love will set you free."

Showing a more aggressive side, Barger ponders religion on the memorable "The Crutch of Every Fool": "I was Jesus, the Beatle John/I lost myself, I lost it all/Everything I thought I was, underneath the weight of my lies." "Who I was is gone -- now it's in a song," Barger declares on the quick paced and poppy "In A Song." The album's stand out track, unquestionably, is the lovely guitar led ballad "ICU In Dandylions" about Barger's daughter. With a final Beatles inspired intro, "U Won't Believe" leaves the album on an upbeat and poppy introspective moment.

Although much of "ICU In Dandylions" is personal, Brokenness are able to transfer something to the listener, making you feel like you have left your listening experience with a few words of wisdom or, at the very least, a catchy melody to whistle. With just enough edge to their poppy guitar rock, the album is full of serious songs that are not serious at all in the way they were written and performed. Brokenness has imparted "ICU In Dandylions" with fun and endearing qualities.

A-

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