Grey Reverend A Hero's Lie

Grey Reverend A Hero's Lie
6
Although it features only ten tracks, clocking in at less than 40 minutes, A Hero's Lie (the sophomore release from Brooklyn, NY-based L.D. Brown, performing here under the Grey Reverend moniker) resonates for much longer. With painfully honest observations sung starkly over haunting fingerpicking, Brown emulates his influences deftly. There are lingering elements of Elliott Smith and Ray LaMontagne's better work on A Hero's Lie, yet self-producing has allowed Brown to place his fingerprints everywhere. Brown walks a fine line between self-aware and obvious imitation, most notably on instrumental "Little Jose," which borrows a little too heavily from Nick Drake. Yet the one-time busker sings with a genuine, robust drive, never seeking pity of any sort. A Hero's Lie, though chock full of rainy-day-ready tracks, isn't a cry for help of any sort. Instead, the album attempts to form a connection through its transparency; we can hear the pain Brown experienced from losing his friend and collaborator, Austin Peralta, which was the impetus for A Hero's Lie. On songs like the heartfelt "Everlasting" and the title track, there's forward momentum that manages to overcome the sorrowful tracks that hold A Hero's Lie back. Brown is moving on from mourning and his vision of a better future, most notably on "This Way," is contagious. (Ninja Tune)