Brett Anderson - Black Rainbows

An album filled with much more potential than the arrangements deliver.

Rating: 6

Brett Anderson is more than just that singer out of that band making another solo album. Unfortunately, on his new full-length ‘Black Rainbows’, the talent which could make him stand out doesn’t quite shine through.

Starter ‘Unsung’ is epic, yet unsatisfying as it doesn’t get to the expected climax. ‘Crash About To Happen’ and ‘I Count The Times’ leave the listener with the same feeling. Only single ‘Brittle Heart’ gives an outlook of the melodies that await the patient listener. He manages to use the simple instrumentation - just bass, drums, guitar, and most prominently his voice – to create an excellent pop song. There’s a wonderful yet not annoyingly catchy melody and an arrangement that works perfectly with his voice.

Elsewhere, this isn’t always the case; often the simple instrumentation lets his voice sound monotonous. Anderson is at his best though with the darker, straight rock songs like ‘The Exiles’, which is diversified in speed and volume, or the lamenting ‘This Must Be Where It Ends’. The quite upbeat ‘Actors’ also convinces as a simply very well composed pop song, with its Britpop vibes and foot-tapping rhythm.

As the album ends quietly with ‘Possession’, it’s not quite clear what Anderson intended here. This straight, almost raw sound leaves some songs sounding unfinished: there are moments where an extra something could have turned a good pop song into a better one. Still, the impression that remains is that ‘Black Rainbows’ is an album filled with much more potential than the arrangements deliver.