Sound — 7
Kevin Devine's latest effort continues his progression towards the popular music scene, without compromising his acoustic/folk background. Although the majority of the songs on this album remain largely unmarketable due to their rough folk sound, the production quality on Brother's Blood is a step up from 2006's Put Your Ghost To Rest, which itself was miles ahead of Kevin's earlier works. Songs such as Carnival or Brother's Blood are examples of songs in which Devine takes advantage of a full band and studio to produce interesting effects. Even acoustic tracks such as It's Only Your Life are very clean-sounding. However, this is not a bad thing. Rather, it makes his work sound even better by highlighting his skills on guitar, and vocally. Admittedly, some of the folksy, lo-fi appeal is lost, but overall, the album does not compromise Kevin's roots. Regarding the songs themselves, Kevin Devine shows remarkable diversity in genres as compared to previous records. There are his trademark acoustic tracks, some harder hitting rock songs, and even a few trippy, experimental sounds (Carnival or Fever Moon). Overall, every song on the album is very enjoyable, and they all have their own identities; there is a lot of emotion conveyed through the music.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrics have always been the strongest part about Devine's music. and Brother's Blood is no exception. The opening track, All of Everything, Erased is a prime example. The lyrics paint an image of the world ending around him, setting the scene as real as if he had truly experienced it. Other songs, such as Tomorrows Just Too Late display his poetic side and reflect the same lyrical matter of his earlier albums, with perhaps a bit more age and wisdom.
Overall Impression — 8
Kevin Devine is one of my favorite musicians, and this album lives up to expectations. Every song offers something different both regarding genres, and subject matter. It is a great CD to listen to in the background while doing work, or to genuinely listen to and become immersed in. I would strongly recommend this CD to anyone who has interest in folk, rock or acoustic music. Overall, it is not quite as good of an album as Put Your Ghost To Rest (in my opinion, one of the best albums ever made), but it comes close, and Kevin did a great job of releasing a brilliant collection of songs.