Dennis Brennan has being missing from the table for more than 6 years - his last album was 2000's "Rule #1" - but he sure has delivered one terrific full-course meal in Engagement.
The 16-song effort by the Boston music scene mainstay clocks in at more than a hour and was recorded both in the studio and live at the Lizard Lounge and the New England Conservatory of Music's Jordan Hall. It is a highly eclectic affair, reflecting a variety of styles, from country ("Personal Assistant") to eastern-tinged jams ("Running Scared") to Elvis Costello-meets-Van Morrison blue-eyed soul anthems ("Brokenhearted I Will Wander").
Backed by an excellent band, Brennan delivers like a skilled veteran - with something to prove. You will no doubt be a believer by the time he ends with a trio of excellent cover songs, including a perfectly rendered take on Charlie Rich's classic "Feel Like Going Home" full of hard-earned wisdom and hurt.