Label: Ato Records / Red Release date: 16/08/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon There is always a sense of trepidation when a member of a band decides to release a solo album, generally made up of songs that aren’t good enough for their dayjob or ill-advised attempts at experimenting with a new sound. Fortunately, with the delicate opening instrumental ‘All Birds Say‘, it soon becomes clear that Carl Broemel isn’t deviating too far from his regular career as guitarist in alt-country heroes My Morning Jacket, leaving only one real question: How good are his songs? Things start off promisingly. Broemel possesses a fine singing voice, carrying the songs with a gentle sincerity that never threatens to dominate the songs. Likewise, the songs are beautifully arranged, each song featuring lush harmonies over the choruses, while the twang of his acoustic guitar is augmented by a shimmering wave of keyboards that gives the album a slightly ethereal sound. The problem is that Broemel seems unwilling to deviate from this formula. Far too much of the album seems to merge together with the result being that it becomes, in part, easily forgettable. The result of this is that the highlights do standout. ‘Life Leftover’ is the catchiest, most instant song on the album, being slightly more up-tempo and featuring a strong chorus, whilst ‘Different People’ opens with a burst of horns which continue throughout the track and bring a welcome change of pace to proceedings. On the whole, there is nothing bad about this album. It’s extremely listenable and it’s certainly good enough to satisfy fans until the next My Morning Jacket album comes out. However, it is lacking the certain intangible spark that makes a decent album into a great one and therefore remains inessential. Photobucket