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Paul Brandt

Calm Before the Storm – 1996 (Reprise)

Reviewed by Dan Kuchar

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CDs by Paul Brandt

Recent history has taught us that great country music can spring from sources far removed from Nashville or Austin. Paul Brandt proves it again with his debut. A product of Calgary, Brandt's husky baritone exudes emotion and feeling that contradict his youthful ageand appearance. Brandt might be Reprise's answer to Wade Hayes, but Brandt is no clone.

Unlike other fledgling artists, Brandt's songwriting shows a depth and maturity well beyond most artists his age. Self-penned efforts like "I Meant To Do That" and "I Do" stand out as the gems of the album not fillers.

Josh Leo's production is solid and rootsy swinging the pendulum closer to country than pop. Finally, unlike most debut efforts, this holds up quite well under repeated listening. If Brandt's debut effort is the "Calm Before The Storm," the storm should be something to look forward to.