Breakup Mixtape 2013
L.D. Brown, AKA Grey Reverend, is everything you ever wanted in music while waiting for the next Bon Iver or Iron and Wine. Hyper-sensitive songwriting with acoustic guitar and tenderly sung poetry makes boys, girls and animals weak in the knees. It’s just something in our chemistry. Luckily, Brown isn’t just pushing ho-hum college rock on us. A Hero’s Lie is real stuff, and you best believe you’re going to cry to it.
“Everlasting” starts off the album, fingerpicking ablaze and Brown softly singing, “Down is such a long way for me / You don’t want to go.” These types of self-analytical, singer-songwriter type songs are perfect for long hikes or writing letters to your ex.
“This Way” actually does sound like something off of For Emma, Forever Ago, but Brown enunciates more and doesn’t rely heavily on over-reverberated vocal layers (which definitely wasn’t a bad thing when Justin Vernon used it). You can even say Grey Reverend evokes sort of a Nick Drake tone when singing. The eponymous “A Hero Lie” is an even deeper practice in how sad Brown can make the listener. Memories of camping trips, boat rides, shared ice cream cones, Polaroids, private slow dances, Facebook pokes, handholding sessions, longing looks and scented shampoo more than harkens back that feeling of doom. Brown sings, “Your love has buried me alive.” This album will bury you alive… in Kleenex.
A Hero’s Lie isn’t anymore insightful than the next heartbroken loon that thinks it’s okay to air our their dirty laundry through sweetly-sung melodies. Actually, that’s every musician. It takes balls to say the things most singer-songwriters do, but it takes even more to sound incredibly vulnerable and broken when they do it. Grey Reverend definitely hit his target when he wrote this album, including a couple string and bell sections and just overall playing with our emotions. That’s usually what makes a good musician. If you can make someone feel something they otherwise wouldn’t have at that moment– and in under 4 minutes– you’re pretty much golden.