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Jim Bryson has at long last released his third album–this time on Ottawa’s own Kelp Records–and longtime Bryson fans will not be disappointed. On the contrary, they will be ecstatic. Recorded, for the most part, with Dave Draves at Ottawa’s Little Bullhorn Studios, the disc is a decidedly more mellow affair than Bryson’s previous efforts, but certainly no less trenchant and affecting for it. Bryson’s lyrics have always been among his most formidable assets and that holds true here, as is especially evident on Flowers, wherein the strained whisper of the vocals (“I gave you a hard time/you gave me your heart”), coupled with the soft and quiet strumming of the guitar evokes simulta neous feelings of loneliness and compassion, longing and despair, forgiveness and hope. “Hello, please listen,” Bryson sings on Fire Watch, but unnecessarily so, as it turns out, for we already are and will be, for a long time to come. (Geoffrey Brown)

CD, Kelp Records www.kelprecords.com

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