Branden Sipes – That Side of Me [Album Review]

There is something about Branden Sipes’ music that is purely authentic and that genuineness cogently manifests in his latest released album, That Side of Me. The talented, Colorado troubadour engages his listeners with a refined, baroque guitar style, accompanied by his soft, affectionate vocals. Quite interestingly, That Side of Me takes us on an acoustic journey, encountering the usual suspects of love and life while challenging us to confront said topics in respect to our own life experiences.

The journey begins brightly upbeat in the form of “Everything’s Right,” an inspiring track that sets the tone for the album while introducing to the audience Sipes’ delicate, yet intricate guitar work, which resonates throughout the album. The title track, “That Side of Me,” (which we featured in March) follows suit delivering catchy guitar riffs and honest melodies.

The journey, then, takes a turn after the opening two numbers, presenting a dark moment in our quest. Similarly to classic literature, the protagonist must fall, or metaphorically die, before rebirth can occur. “Winter’s On its Way,” a soulful ballad, uses clever lyrics conjoined with beautiful musical composition to invoke feelings of desolation and regret; the feeling of fleeting love. However, within this moment of despair and emptiness, reflection emerges in the form of “Searching,” a selection revelatory of the artist’s acceptance of the growth process: “’Cause I am a searching for the reason, for the beating of my heart / and I am finding out the answer, is a long way from the start.”

In “Standing as I am,” we experience a rebirth, a declaration of awareness, and, while incognizant of what future may hold, a fervent renewal of passion for life and love. This rebirth is evident in the lines “When the evening is over and the stars are shining through / I just want to be with you” and “Walk with me into this morning / There’s more of you I’m wanting…to see.” Sipes creatively uses these allusions to bring his audience to a place of enlightenment. “Take Me Over” is a beautiful song which speaks to the yearning for the kind of love that completes us. The bright, poppy guitar licks in the verses lull the listener into a false sense of security before the hook and chorus create a truly captivating moment.

Branden delivers a truly remarkable composition which has thoroughly impressed our staff as well as our readers. That Side of Me plays like a classic novel, taking us the through dynamics of the protagonist’s plight, from trial and tribulation to rebirth and enlightenment. If That Side of Me is any indicator of what is to come from Branden in the future, we are all in for a treat. Keep an eye out for this talented troubadour.

Kyle C. Stilley | Marketing Strategist | @stillz | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC | kyle@musicwithoutlabels.com

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