Scott F. Brown
Instrumental 12 string guitar reminiscent of Anthony Phillips and early Genesis.
Scott F. Brown
3.8 out of 5
By Bill Todde
Scott F. Brown is a multi-instrumentalist out of Statesboro, Georgia. He is in the process of collaborating with other artists, as well as other solo efforts. Despite his full-plate, Brown re-released Sparkle in March of 2018.
Sparkle’s original release was in 2010. Its re-release is timed nicely, a light-hearted album just in time for the light-hearted living of a Sunday afternoon in the summer. Despite the initial feelings of ease, the album is not all that easy. Sparkle features moments of great building and upward movement of the mood, as well as sections that can take things back down to cruising speed.
“Sparkle” is the titular track from the album. It runs just under ten minutes. In those ten minutes you will find large sections of varying notes, simple building chord sections, slower and more haunting tones made up of fewer notes than before, larger builds with single notes or chords, and a multitude of other nuances and attitudes that are as varied as they are frequent. You can never pin-point when things will change with the track. As soon as you’re getting used to a section, it changes. Given the proper attention, it can feel like watching a good movie.
“Parachute Jacket” is one of only two tracks that are under five minutes. The song is a powder-keg. Percussive and fast paced, “Parachute Jacket” is an exciting happening. With so little time compared to other tracks (the average of the album seems to be seven minutes for a track, just by eye-balling the track-list), it wastes no time in hitting the ground running. The other tracks on this album are just as complex as the dynamic of these two. Lots of building, lots of falling action, a few spots where things are given a rest and start over in an entire new direction and a lot to discover for the listener who is keen on finding details.
I can’t exactly put into words why I love the sound of a 12-string guitar as much as I do. It started when I was a kid and I heard Jimmy Page playing it on a few Led Zeppelin albums. Every since I found out what the sound was, even if it’s just a guy at Guitar Center messing around in the corner, I’m drawn to it. Sparkle adds to the magic for me. It’s definitely not just some guy messing around at Guitar Center. It’s emotional, it’s talented, it’s clean-cut and concise. There is never a moment where it doesn’t feel like Brown is perfectly in control of his music.
There are moments when the direction is not apparent to the listener. Sudden changes in tempo, or even just the energy behind the track create a sonic rollercoaster of cascading notes. Take the ride that Sparkle has to offer. It’s an amazing journey that will take you through a unique region of sound that Brown has expertly drawn the map for.