Brian Rudy Divided Man

Divided Man is the first album from Toronto singer/songwriter Brian Rudy, and it's an impressively ambitious work. Divided Man opens with an engrossing little instrumental, the oddly named "Neitzschean Slip," that sets the musical landscape for the rest of the songs. With a unique acoustic style that is centred on harmonics and lilting precious melodies, Rudy's music is upbeat yet folkie, spirited yet thoughtful. Divided Man took a full year to produce, the result of this labour of love is an album of impeccable sound and clarity that focuses on the excellent arrangements of keyboards, violins and layered percussion. Rich in harmony, the songs themselves conjure up far away places and times in the same way the best Jethro Tull tunes do. The weak link is that the "concept" of this album remains unexplored, but in the end, the musicianship and the pure strength of Rudy's voice makes this point irrelevant. The arrangements are creative, inventive and finally satisfying. Rudy is a songwriter with a rare and wonderful gift for writing and arranging songs that hint at their pop-folk influences, but still maintains their unique and inspired sound. (Think Tank)