| Artist: Ven Bravo|
CD Title: Changing World
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Solo artist Ven Bravo’s self-produced debut is synthpop done right, and it’s at least as good as anything we’ve heard from the genre’s bigger names. It starts off with “Holding On,” a perky dance number that’s faintly reminiscent of the Pet Shop Boys in that it seems like a throwaway ‘80s club track at first, but reveals unexpected depth and complexity after a closer listen. “Slowly Surrendered” is like Depeche Mode with a beat you can dance to instead of moping to, while “Charismatic Mind” and “Led By Freedom” are deliciously stomping tracks in the vein of Covenant’s most pop-oriented material, with elegantly simple dark synth programming and bass-heavy techno rhythm. Bravo does occasionally give in to the genre’s clichés, unfortunately. “On My Own” is an overwrought ballad in the vein of Depeche Mode’s “Somebody,” and “Pleasure Pain” continues synthpop’s fine tradition of songs that are supposed to be seductive but end up being embarrassing; it’s hard to buy Bravo’s Don Juan act when he’s delivering lines like “You’re my sexual bride!” Still, far more famous songwriters have written far sillier songs, and this is an excellent first effort, rooted in the classic synthpop sound without sounding dated.
It won’t be long before a label snaps Ven Bravo up, but for now you can visit his website at www.venbravo.com.
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