Norm Brunet offers the best of his heartfelt songwriting abilities throughout this album, and it appears in a beautifully warm and genuine way. Can’t Stop Thinking introduces the project, Brunet’s raspy voice has a touch of realness that carries these notably honest lyrics in a soothing manner. His sound falls somewhere between country and acoustic rock – there’s a hint of Bryan Adams to it all, and this opening song showcases some wonderful instrumentation that lights up the soundscape more and more so as things progress. The verse lyrics pour through quite intensely after a while, so when the hook – the title concept – finally hits, it’s a welcomed moment of resolve.
Pour Me Another One adds a smooth groove to the collection and a more mellow, spacious set of lyrics. The melody has a classic feel and Brunet’s voice sounds softer, more sleepy – in keeping with the song’s underlying sentiment. The hook rises up a little and the contrast works well. The album’s title track follows and brings a distinct level of pop-rock brightness through. Still the story-telling takes the wheel, and the hook contrasts at just the right time with the detailed, scene-setting lines of the verses. This quickly becomes an easily recognisable song.
I Will is a swoon-worthy, gentle ballad that directly addresses a significant other. The energy rises towards the hook, just slightly, then these whispered additional vocals add a subtle but warm dynamic as the central idea emerges. Like Out Of A Dream afterwards hits with the colour and vibrancy of full-band Americana. Great guitar work accompanies more of Brunet’s deeply thoughtful, loving lyrics. Good Times and Tan Lines later keeps the mood light and adds an ear-worm of a melody with a quicker pace and a general, genuine sense of those good times implied by the title.
Throughout this project you get a series of stories that appear very close to the songwriter’s heart and experiences in life. It feels very personal, but the details are accessible – even vague in some instances – so they can easily be applied to the lives of listeners far and wide. As is the calling card of an effective mainstream playlist.
During the latter half of the project, She’s Afraid To Stay adds an element of difficulty or hard truth to the album. It’s an interesting song that again many are likely to relate to. Put Some Life Back in My Life follows and reignites the optimism, offering precisely what the title implies – a dash of colour and positive energy, a sense of overcoming, of personal strength and the good times that deserve to be had. Out Of The Blue afterwards presents a slightly jazz or soul soaked ambiance that’s mellow and soothing to have surround you. The lyrics are deeply reflective, considerate of life and – as always – true to Brunet’s natural artistic direction.
Heartbreaker Girl marks the final track on the album, a splash of distortion and real rock and roll pours through. The song has brightness and volume, you feel the live energy of the moment and Brunet puts a lot of weight into his performance so it hits with a little more attitude and swagger than anything else. A strong way to finish and another detailed story-line that flows well alongside of the soundscape. Norm Brunet has written and arranged this album in a fitting, effective way. Fans of classic country, Americana and pop rock alike will find something to love here.