Friday, February 4, 2011


Song: "Brawny Says"
Artist: Pretendo
Search Term: "Brawny"

... And here's a song whose effectiveness is severely diminished because it runs twice as long as necessary! Symmetry!

There's a lot that's reasonably enjoyable about "Brawny Says," particularly if you're a fan of the Pernice Brothers or the Glands or other indie acts that draw on a rich knowledge of classic pop without trying to actually re-create the sounds of the '60s. The song's intro, with its falsetto voices "ooh"ing their way through a downcast hook, could be the centerpiece of a great song in its own right. The song's immediate lurch into a smug bossa nova rhythm is uncomfortable, but it brings with it some memorable vocal parts (traded among at least two singers) that are clearly a nod to Brian Wilson's childlike simplicity, but with the bonus of some politely distorted guitars. It's not going to be anyone's summer soundtrack, but it's a perfectly respectable tune.

However, the halfway point of the song arrives at the very moment you think, "All right! Job well done! Guess we're gonna wrap things up now, eh, guys? Guys?" And it ambles on nearly to the six-minute mark without introducing any new ideas or variations on what's happened previously, while the whole endeavor begins to sag like an elongated sawhorse. By the end, you will not only have forgotten what you liked about the song in the first place, but you will have been reminiscing fondly about old toothpaste jingles for a solid two minutes, because it is impossible to pay attention through this entire thing.

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