On his third album, ‘Questions’, David Bronson is a man not afraid to ask deep, meaningful ones. I lose count of how many questions are littered within the lyrics of this gem, due for release in January 2015. But, where unanswered questions might cause anxiousness and doubt in some of our minds, Bronson’s are broadly coming from a place of insight and contentment. “This life is questions but the questions they are mine“, claims Bronson in album opener, ‘Songbird’. He’s taking control of his situation; he might not have all of the answers but he wants us to know that this is fine.
Musically, there are some obvious reference points. This is rooted in the soft, well produced, 1970’s soundscapes made famous by the likes of Bread, Al Stewart and Seals and Crofts. It’s a sound that’s still sometimes derided by those who want their guitars to fuzz more and their vocalists to scream but I maintain there’s a place for both. Without straying too far from this canvas, Bronson gives us a glimpse of gospel, a smack of soul and a flask of funk (on ‘Task’) to ensure our interest is maintained.
He might be a singer-songwriter but there’s little of the ‘woe is me’ that blights so many others also classed in that gang. These are songs that contain positive, subtle messages. Never preachy, they contain clues about how we might strive for something a bit better. In one of the highlights for me, ‘Push’, Bronson describes bumping into an old, close friend who appears a little down on his luck, so much so that it’s difficult to recognise him. “Sometimes, we all need a push“, he urges and you wish his friend well. In ‘Day By Day’, Bronson suggests that he’s a believer in a pint half full philosophy when he calls back the lyrical spirit of The Carpenters to say, “I know you think it’s over but it’s only just begun.” And, it’s all neatly wrapped up in the album’s closing track when Bronson advises that we should, “give yourself the benefit, give yourself the time, give yourself the needed talking to, because it’s only in our mind”.
This is an accomplished, mature album and there’s much within to reward repeated spins. It’s another that I’ve been listening to in my car whilst driving in recent weeks. Tunes that didn’t immediately grab are now embedded in my head; the lyrics will sometimes say little and sometimes say lots depending upon my state of mind that day.
Will I still be listening to ‘Questions’ in five years time? I think I know the answer to this. And I won’t be alone.