Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dan Bryk - Dan Bryk, Asshole - 1995


Probably the biggest problem with Dan Bryk's first album is that it's maybe a tad obvious in terms of lyrical content. Here's a child of the suburbs complaining about how shallow and boring things are, something that's telegraphed ahead of the music when you look at the album artwork, equating rows of identical house with rows of identical tombstones. Elsewhere, he does the singer/songwriter thing in his full-on sad-sack unlucky-in-love nerd persona. It sounds like it could be obnoxious, but Bryk actually has enough charm and humor to pull it off. Who else could pull off an ode to a computer programmer, or a song about stalking the Prime Minister's daughter in revenge for free trade? How many people would come up with the line "she asked if there was more to life than this/all I could offer was the number of my therapist"? And so we come to the matter of the album's title: Is Bryk truly an asshole? Well, probably not, even though he's open enough with his feelings to make people feel comfortable. And yes, he's a smart-ass. But he's also emotionally honest and smart, if perhaps a bit naïve at times. -AMG

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