Bryan Eich – Sleeping By A Wire
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: July 2007
I find myself rooting for the underdog often. This is bad because I have a gambling problem. It’s a blessing because I hear music that is, quite literally, mine and mine alone. Bryan Eich, however, is just too good for me to keep tight-lipped about. His silky smooth acoustic pop songs are light and smart, while everything about Sleeping By A Wire remains understated. Forget the microscope, we need a spotlight!
This is a cozy album. The lyrics and simple melodies feel familiar, not clichéd. Yes, there is a difference. Opener, “Big Fish,” other than recalling one of my favorite movies, is a piano and snare affair about a lost love with “a perfect body.” Lust? In an easy listening pop record? Right on, Bryan Eich. The following, unintentional Beach Boy tribute, “Can’t Wait Too Long,” makes use of retro guitars and a lovely string arrangement. As standard as Sleeping By A Wire is, it never gets stuck in a rut. Each of the 13 tracks includes enough deviations to goad the listener on further.
I could rapid-fire the different styles here (like alt-rocker “Head Hangs Low” or discordant “Lost,” for example) but you don’t want to read that. You want to read why Bryan Eich is special. It’s quite simple, he cares and he struggles and he lives just like the other joe-schmoes of the world. It’s just, when Eich goes through tough times like the goodbyes in folky “Everything,” he makes beautiful music. The rest of us are content with beating up a pillow or drinking ourselves into another (probably uglier) person’s arms. Such is life, and such is Sleeping By A Wire.
Eich brings so much authenticity to his lyrics. He yearns and excites when the music dictates. Case in point, after he nearly gives up on everything with the line, “But that’s the way it goes,” I half expected the record to end. Each song is written and performed with so much heart; this must have been an exhausting record to pen.
Sleeping By A Wire is for the downtrodden and, somehow, for the triumphant. I say this because of the inspiring feeling such a complete album brings the listener. Eich notes these songs took 12 years to finally finish. I assure you, Sleeping By A Wire was well worth the wait.
Recommended If You Like: Josh Ritter, The Damnwells, owing success to others, David Shultz and the Skyline, Ewen McGregor