Brett Dennen’s newest album, Loverboy, finds Dennen exploring more upbeat pop and funk-based themes than his previous and most popular 2008 record, Hope for the Hopeless.
After listening to Loverboy, it’s clear that Dennen has come a long way with his songwriting abilities from his first self-titled studio album released in 2004. Dennen’s earlier releases, including So Much More in 2006 and Hope for the Hopeless in 2008 focused almost solely on social and political issues where he challenged his fans to really think about society’s problems.
Loverboy is a far cry from the social landscapes painted in Dennen’s previous albums. Instead, Loverboy offers up a fresh dose of happy, melodic, and almost nonsensical lyrics that challenge you to get up and dance rather than think while maintaining Dennen’s signature beats and West Coast vibe throughout.
With only a couple exceptions, every track on Loverboy was recorded in one take. This gives the album a true-to-life effect that you can feel while listening.
The songs that stand out most on Dennen’s record have the most infectious melodies and showcase the evolution of his songwriting abilities. The goofy and radio-friendly tune “Comeback Kid” is perhaps the most memorable tune on the record. Dennen sings repetitive lyrics like, “that’s my dog” in such a fun and uplifting way that you can’t help but sing along.
Yet another example of Dennen showcasing his ability to write fun and almost mindless songs is the single “Sydney (I’ll Come Running).” This tune is reminiscent of some of Dennen’s more poppy songs from the past, yet uniquely different. “Sydney (I’ll Come Running)” has more of a driving force and feels far more polished than Dennen’s other pop songs look at this now.
“And all the hipsters on the East Side they think they’re too cool for school but they don’t know,” sings Dennen on his track “Queen of the Westside”. Dennen almost pokes fun of his own image as a hipster from the West Coast throughout the song. “Queen of the Westside” was Dennen’s experimental track with more funk-based guitar licks and a lagging synthesized beat. Dennen has fun with this track and it shows as sings “oh” in a falsetto voice that Michael Jackson could be proud of.
Overall, Brett Dennen’s Loverboy doesn’t disappoint. The record offers a mixture of signature Brett Dennen thought-provoking lyrics, but far more mindless and happy pop songs perfect for listening to in the car. The album is due for release on April 12.