One reason that so much music coming out of Nashville is bland and forgettable is simple math. The more people involved in the writing of a song, sometimes the less personal and idiosyncratic it gets—and about a quarter of the songs in the current Top 40 sport three or more writers. That’s by design: if three people can all relate to the song they’re writing, there’s a better chance that the many diverse listeners who make up a mass audience can, too. But something often gets lost, something unique and interesting.
That’s why it’s no surprise that Dean Brody’s impressive self-titled debut, which teems with intriguing lyrical details and individualistic touches, features songs written mostly by Dean alone. Left to his own devices, Dean doesn’t reinvent current Music Row formulas—he just does them a little smarter and sharper than some do. Dean Brody demonstrates clearly how modern mainstream country can be accessible without getting dull, and how one brain can sometimes be better than four.