REVIEWS FOR SPLENDID WINGS
By Larry Flick
The title track from this gifted singer/songwriter’s debut disc is a heart-rendering meditation on the end of life. With the spare instrumental support of an acoustic guitar and subtle violins, Brown aims to climb inside the mind of a man traveling from one dimension into another; fleshing out his poetic words with a sweet, almost buoyant voice. Sounds too heavy? It’s not. In fact, the song has a comforting and uplifting quality that makes you want to hear it again and again. Brown is trekking around the East Coast club circuit'"don’t miss the chance to see him perform live.
Fade in Fade Out
By Jeffrey L. Newman
One of the freshest voices to come out of the gay community recently is David Brown who shines on his debut, self-produced opus; "Splendid Wings." With a sweet, soft voice,
Brown puts forth a stellar set of 12 breathtaking songs. While he is likely to be categorized into the folk/rock category his music goes beyond that into the adult contemporary/pop spectrum. (He’s sort of a male Catie Curtis.)
From the start, Brown delivers an honesty that is often missing from music today, and combines it with intelligent, well-thought-out lyrics and melodic harmonies and chords. The result is an effecting body of work that reaches out beyond the gay listener, but to the community at large.
His "Every Kiss Is a Revolution" is a thought-provoking ditty about the danger that
comes with openly displaying affection. "Mr. Right" is a whimsical track about finding and being Mr. Right (now).
And, the title cut and last track of the album, about a person’s letting go to die, is about as moving and affecting as a track can get. It’s a beautiful sendoff and finale to a wonderful musical journey.
Gay Chicago Magazine
Vocals by Jeff Rosen
A short item in the new singles listing in Billboard for the title track of David Brown’s "Splendid Wings" (Chihuahua) caught my eye last month. A contact phone number was listed, and the track sounded intriguing enough to make me call. I had never heard of Brown, but that’s not unusual; there are thousands of singers I have never heard of and never will, and, in many cases, that will be my misfortune. It’s also one of the reasons why I write these columns.
Yes, I want to let you know what I think about the latest big-name releases, but that’s secondary. The main thing I want to do is let you know about something '" or someone '"
You may not know of or come across in the store bins or that may get lost in the shuffle of big-bucks promotions for big stars. And David Brown is a perfect example.
To be honest, when I first heard "Splendid Wings," I should have turned it over to Mark Christopher to cover in the Pop column, because that’s where it more rightfully belongs. But after that hearing, I couldn’t bear the thought of parting with it. It is, quite simply, one of the most exciting and intoxicating records I have ever heard.
Brown is an out gay performer from New York whose works drifts between rock, folk, and pop. Effortlessly. Beautifully. Hypnotically. He sings of relationships platonic (his lesbian rommates Cathie and Claire who he gets "occasional shots of them in their underwear" and are "having a baby and they’re gonna use my sperm"; and Annie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore); emotional (Do You Need Me?, and I Can’t See You Again) and physical (Mr. Right, "I’ll be your Mr. Right for right now...") He makes political statements about being gay (Every Kiss is a Revolution), looks at oppression (The Holy Ones, "If you suffer you are/If you cry out you are/ If you love you are the Holy Ones.")
And faces the end of life, what’s being left behind and what may lie ahead in the extraordinarily beautiful and simple Splendid Wings, "If you could read my mind now/all you’d find is you/Moving pictures of the small and everyday things we do...To die might be alright with me/I’m gonna fly with splendid wings/to die might be alright with me/I’m gonna fly with splendor..." Exquisite and haunting.
The 11 selections on "Splendid wings" are all original compositions by Brown, and every single one is a gem. The clean and invigorated musical accompaniments are the work of Brown(acoustic guitar and piano) and his co-producer, Bruce Whitcomb (bass guitar, electric strings, hand and electric drums), and the pair produced a recording that is as pristine as it is artistic. However you do it, get your hands on "Splendid Wings" as soon as possible. It will be one of the most stunning musical journeys you’ll ever take. (****)
The Washington Post
David Brown’s Splendid Wings
Everyone thinks that I’m a freak, The way I dress, The way I speak... I’ll be tall and rich someday, Everything will go my way.
These lines from "Teen Freak," the 16 second spoken word piece opening David Brown’s Splendid Wings (Chihuahua Records) capture the emotion, desperation and hope present throughout the album.
Another shining star on the Gay indie music scene, Brown delivers a well-rounded acoustic set on his debut album. From "Happy Threesome," a celebration of friendships between Lesbians and Gay men, to the hopeful "Every Kiss is a Revolution," Brown’s literary voice is decidedly Gay.
Musically, Brown stands firm in acoustic-land, but with wonderful versatility he moves back and forth between piano and guitar, each bringing put unique qualities in his rich voice. Leading the list of outstanding vocal tracks are "Do you need me?" a duet with Crissy Wade and the spirited "Annie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore".
The sprinkling of other instruments, like strings on "Watercolor Heart" and hand percussion on "I Can’t See You Again" give Splendid Wings rich texture while adding to the distinctive moods among the 12 songs on this impressive debut album.
The Musician’s Trade Journal
Splendid Wings/Chihuahua Records- CD
By B. Cormier & G. Reitz.
Thought-provoking and relevant, the lyrics of this offering by David Brown enhance the folk rock sound of this collection of original pieces. Reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel, the music on this album is light and harmonic, a masterful blend of acoustic guitar, piano, and vocals. Joining Brown on Do You Need Me? is Crissy Wade who helps to create a memorable duet, while his solo efforts stand on their own. While it’s rare that an album makes the jump from the "review pile" to the personal collection, this one has. '"