No More Mr. Lucky

Randall Bramblett

New West Records, 2001

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Sometimes, I feel the biggest discoveries in music are bound to be left undiscovered because of the way people perceive them - perceptions which, often, are incorrect.

Take Joe Consumer, for example. He's a rock music fan who's not afraid to have his tunes branch out into a little funk or even adult contemporary. But he hates country music - hates it with a passion. So when he sees a disc like Randall Bramblett's No More Mr. Lucky on the shelves with a record label of New West, he's going to avoid it like Pig Pen avoided water in the Peanuts comic strip.

Two words: YOU FOOL! Bramblett has, with this disc, created a wonderful sonic sculpture which hooks the listener in every track, crafting a sound which is closer to mainstream rock than any variant of Western or country music I know of. If there was a disc I'd have to pick as a potential breakthrough for 2001, Bramblett would win the prize hands down.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

With a vocal style that reminds me of Del Amitri's Justin Currie at times, Bramblett shows off the magic of the lyric when paired with equally powerful music. "Lost Enough" is such a track, with a captivating bass line from Michael Rhodes gently driving the song into a gentle, shuffling rhythm that leaves the listener's ears dancing. Bramblett's unique poetry - taking the view of the Everyman, his self-doubts and his hopes - puts the listener directly in the song, and makes you feel like Bramblett is singing directly to you. Likewise, tracks such as "Sunflower," "End Of The String" and the first single "Peace In Here" all offer rays of hope - or at least stark pictures of life that everyone can relate to - set to some beautiful music.

But Bramblett is not afraid to turn the energy up on No More Mr. Lucky, and successfully does so without taking any of the power from his ballads. "Get In Get Out" is absolutely tasty, with an almost funk beat to the music and the style in which Bramblett delivers his vocals. Bramblett's saxophone work also shines on this song. (Regrettably, there's the occasional moment where it doesn't fit in, such as the solo on "God Was In The Water," a solo I don't think even Edgar Winter could have successfully laid in at that juncture.) "Hard To Be A Human" is a light-hearted look at the relationship between men and women, as well as humans to their own existence, all tied up with Adam & Eve references.

I've spent well over three weeks listening to No More Mr. Lucky, trying to get all of the nuances which Bramblett has put into these 11 songs. But, after a while, all you can do is sit back and let the music envelop you... and, brother, what a trip it takes you on. The more I've listened to this disc, the more I've liked it - and I happened to like it right out of the shrink wrap.

Bramblett not only successfully captures the human condition on No More Mr. Lucky, but he wraps it up inside a slew of well-written, wonderfully performed songs. This is a disc which is screaming to be discovered. Pick it up now, and find out for yourself why Bramblett is a star who is waiting for his chance to shine.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of New West Records, and is used for informational purposes only.