Get Set for Jay Brannan to “Rob You Blind”
Jay Brannan’s “Rob Me Blind.” Photo Credit: Nettwerk Records.
There are very few artists that in my opinion fully articulate what it’s like to be in love. There are even fewer that can describe what it’s like to be gay and in love. And only about one or two can put me to tears and make me laugh on the same album while describing what it’s like to be gay and in love. One of those artists is the incredible Jay Brannan, who has a new album out that is simply brilliant.
Brannan’s Rob Me Blind recently debuted last Tuesday and it’s his third LONG LONG LONG anticipated album since his sophomore In Living Cover in 2009. Fans of Brannan will not be disappointed as he puts his vocal chords to use on what I believe God put him on this earth to do: let people know that they aren’t alone.
From the very first track, Brannan exposes listeners to “Everywhere There’s Statues,” (yes, the grammar is intentional) a poignant song that describes in tremendous detail the feeling of disappointment when it comes to being alone and wanting love. Admittedly, the first time I heard it, I started crying out of self-identification and I have a feeling that once people listen to Brannan croon intense lyrics such as “I’m face down on the hardwood floor, and not a soul with which to be, if this craving’s one to ignore, then someone tell me what the hell a soul is for,” I won’t be alone.
Other album highlights include “Beautifully,” which first made its debut on In Living Cover, but a new version adds a spin to the familiar song and those first time listeners will enjoy it as well. His ever popular among fans “The Spanglish Song” is an adorable love story about dating someone who you sweet but don’t know the language. It’s quite a romantic track. The title track of the album is also an intense song about a man giving permission to rob him blind with his love. Gay people don’t have many love songs, so Brannan fills a much needed void.
If you have sick and twisted sense of humor, like me, you will also enjoy “The La-La Song” which I will classify as Brannan’s “Green Day” rock out moment. He sings how he wishes nothing but bad things to a lover who has done him wrong. It’s a perfect song to listen to when you are enraged as it combines his passionate feelings in a sing-songy, childhood playground kind rhyme, which made me chuckle.
If I had to say one detraction about the album is at times it seems a bit over-produced. As someone who has seen Brannan live twice, and incessantly watches his YouTube videos online of him singing, sometimes I just want to hear him and a guitar with no fancy bells and whistles. But admittedly, perhaps that’s just a selfish wish of mine. Also the song “The State of Music” gets a wee bit indulgent, even for Brannan.
However, his music touches a very deep spot in people’s souls and articulates feelings at times that many of us don’t immediately have the words for and validates those emotions. This album illustrates a maturity since Brannan’s debut with “Goddamned.” While heartbreak and pessimism still reside in many of his lyrics, there is a feeling of optimism that comes with life experience which is very apparent in Rob Me Blind. And with the world the way it is these days, we could all use a bit of hope wherever we can get it. I highly recommend you pick up Rob Me Blind, if for no other reason than to feel like you are understood.
Justin Lowenhagen is a local news anchor, reporter, and actor. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Dec. 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism.
“You are mine” is about “one teenager dreaming about another, even though they’ll never be together.”December 16, 2015
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