Paul Brady Say What You Feel

Any Paul Brady release marks a special occasion — he represents the cream of Irish exports and a one-of-a-kind singer-songwriter whose unflagging commitment to his craft has wielded untold influence on countless artists; there are few like him. Brady considers himself a white Irish soul singer and that’s the best way to assess his every release, no less so his 14th. Unlike so many of his other recordings, SWYF is decidedly off-the-cuff — recorded in Nashville but, despite the presence of Nashville’s finest sons, it sounds less painstakingly wrought — preferring spontaneity over production sheen. Like any Brady offering, his songwriting is his strongest suit. Individual songs don’t bowl you over immediately but ultimately win you over with their intelligence and elaborately-textured construction. His knack for melody is stupefying. As a result, there is much to fall for here: from the stripped down "Locked Up In Heaven,” where his effective voice is alone with his Fender Rhodes, to the more elaborate "Doing It In The Dark,” which grants him his soul jones and delivers a kick in his step and some mighty B3 organ from Reese Wynans. When it comes to Paul Brady, everything fits like a well-worn cardigan and nobody needs to impress anyone. Brady feels more than most and says it better than anybody. (Compass)