CD Review: Don Brownrigg – It Takes All Kinds (to make this world, I find)

There have been a lot of great albums released from Canadian artists this past year, but the best is yet to come.  Mark October 22nd on your calendar because that is the day Don Brownrigg releases It Takes All Kinds (to make this world, I find). 

It Takes All Kinds (to make this world, I find) is the best Canadian album released in 2013.  The first single “Sweet Dream Sleeper” has been a mainstay in the CBC Radio 2 Top 20 since its release in July and Brownrigg should garner numerous East Coast Music Association nominations and with any luck some Juno nominations and a Polaris Music Prize nomination for his latest spectacular release. 

Don Brownrigg (photo by Rose Cousins)

 It Takes All Kinds is Brownrigg’s 2nd album, a follow-up to 2007’s Wander Songs.  According to Brownrigg, the album was recorded in Halifax, Nova Scotia over a two-year period with basically just him and ECMA winning producer Daniel Ledwell “making most of the music, claps and noises”.  To finish the album, Brownrigg recruited some talented musicians (Benn Ross, Zac Crouse, David Christensen and Kinley Dowling) as well as two of Atlantic Canada’s most beautiful voices (Jenn Grant and Rose Cousins). 

There is no doubt that the in the six years between releases, Brownrigg experienced good times and bad; love and hurt; joy and pain.  At times, one gets the feeling that Brownrigg reached the depths of despair and found the strength to start over and make the “freedom climb” to “free the mind” (“When The Heart Resigns”).  

It Takes All Kinds features a nice mix of slow, reflective, somber songs (“When The Heart Resigns”, “Just Breathe” “How Are You Supposed To Know”) and more upbeat tunes (“Sweet Dream Sleeper”, “Swing Song”, “No Smoke, No Gun”).  The musical arrangements on many of these songs (strings, piano, drums, whistles, etc.) is beautiful to behold – reminiscent of Jenn Grant’s ECMA winning album The Beautiful Wild.    

It Takes All Kinds (to make this world, I find) hits all the right notes.  The album will make you think; it will make you reflect; it will make you dance; it will make you sing; and it may even make you cry.  And as for Brownrigg, this album should make him a household name.

Favourite songs – When The Heart Resigns; Just Breathe; Sweet Dream Sleeper; How Am I Supposed To Know

Track Listing
1. When The Heart Resigns
2. Just Breathe
3. No Smoke, No Gun
4. Sweet Dream Sleeper
5. There Is Nothing
6. How Are You Supposed To Know
7. I Think I’m Leaving Halifax
8. Stuck In The Middle
9. The Swing Song
10. Fight For Your Castle

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