Piano Pop Review: Randal Branham - Simple (Vadia Vinyl, September 18 2018

Randal Branham - Simple
(Vadia Vinyl, September 18 2018

Available for pre-order from Sept 4

Randal Branham offers an album of accomplished radio-friendly pop rock on Simple. Randall has a pleasant tenor that is melodic, with a raspy edge that comes in grittier passages. It's an album with a romantic heart that looks at love in many different permutations.

Simple to Extreme is a high energy mixture of pop and rock, with soul in its complex, compelling rhythms and a dash of jazz in its interesting chord changes. It features Tom Goss, and it's a highlight of the release.

Simple is a keyboard driven power ballad, with a cool sax solo and fat, church choir harmonies on the chorus. Man to Man takes it down to voice and piano for a plain spoken story of love with a difference.

There's no photo of you in a frame on my desk
Cause th\e customers don't understand
At a dinner, or movie, no matter how late
I'm never seen touching your hand

It's kind've amazing that, here in 2018, a simple ballad about LGBTQ love is still remarkable.

There's a variety of approaches and nicely fat arrangements that flesh out a range of styles and genres. Who Is This Lady? is a cute synthy RnB love song. Your Shining Love, in contrast, is a melodic alt-rock track with a power chorus.

Slow Dance tips a hat to a kind of jazzy retro pop, with a lush arrangement and harmonies. Go Out is the straight up dance track, its driving beat and hedonistic message lit up by jazzy chord changes.

He's surrounded himself with talented musicians that offer a range of instrumentation, including sax and flute on some tracks. An acoustic version of Touching Down and club remix of the acoustic Man To Man are the bonus tracks.

A native of West Virginia, Randal's now based in Orlando, Florida. He's been playing piano since the age of six, and studied classical piano and voice at Eastern State College and Rollins College respectively. He found his niche in pop music, and has won awards for his songwriting, including the Billboard best song contest.

Track List
1. Simple To Extreme (Feat. Tom Goss)
2. Wonderful
3. Walking
4. Man To Man (acoustic)
5. Who Is This Lady?
6. Your Shining Love
7. Dreams
8. Slow Dance
9. Go Out
10. Fly Away
11. Touching Down
12. As Much
13. Last Hour
14. Touching Down (acoustic)
15. Man To Man (club mix)

Personnel: Randal Branham: Vocals & Piano; Nate Anderson: Saxophone; Gilbert Dhennin: Soprano Sax, Ewi; Denise Acerra: Flute; Alton Atherton "Fingers": Bass; Minet Gregory: Backup Vocals; Napoleon Baca: Lead Guitar; Jose Luis Castillo: Acoustic Guitar

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