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Thomas Andrew Braden

Before the converted church that was Simon The Leper's Music Hall was reconverted into Swallow Hill, local hair farm Leviathan used to roust the masses on a regular basis. Some ten years hence, frontman Thomas Braden confirms his true calling as power balladeer extraordinaire. Experiencing Songbook is somewhat like a pectoral piercing: The chilling emotionalism has a nipple hardening effect, and the dynamic builds produce the swelling. Braden's compassionate vocals, a more palatable take on Steve Perry, provide the healing salve. This soaring, dramatic voice is strong enough that Braden could afford to take more chances. But to his credit, he doesn't let neat studio tricks like the one on "Kept Within Our Hearts," take over the song like some vocoder junkie. The strength is in the melodies that wriggle into the brain like a Babel Fish. Colorful guitars with minimal wanking and pretty keyboard accents are rounded out by impressive production.

-Ewan Wadharmi

Track Listing:
1. My Eyes Cry
2. Kept Within Our Hearts
3. Exclavaganza
4. Winter
5. Another Year
6. Brother
7. Little Boy
8. Age of Innocence
9. March 1st Day
10. Love Comes Around

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