BrokenNess – ICU In Dandylions

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Album Review by EDF

Why some people form bands is a complete mystery. Where the idea for BrokenNess came from was at an unlikely location, a drug and alcohol treatment center where Regan Barger was attending a 28-day stint. While there he heard the word BrokenNess, an in-joke to describe the physical, emotional and spiritual health of the general population. One month later, emerging clean and sober from the center, Barger formed the three-piece BrokenNess.

This US group is a fine blend of THE BEATLES and CROWDED HOUSE, mixed with an uncanny John Lennon soundalike vocals without trying to sound like Lennon. The songs are well-crafted pop tunes with a slight nod to the Sixties, so you have a basic idea what to expect. JUNKIE is more TRAVELLING WILBURYS than say SELFISH SADNESS, which sounds like pure Lennon from the vocals to the air of the song and the lyrics.

The one constant in Barger’s life is his daughter, so it is only fitting that a number of songs, such as GRAIN OF SAND and LOOK AT ME should be written about her effect on his life. The title track itself came from an off the cuff comment his four year-old daughter made that “I see you in dandelions, daddy”. In a strange way, this track is Barger’s “Lucy In The Sky With Diamond”. The rowdiest track on the album is the rocking THE CRUTCH OF EVERY FOOL, where Barger confronts his demons that had made him the man he used to be.

It is hard to ignore an artist who puts his heart and soul into a piece of music and this is exactly what Barger has done. Coming out of the darkness, Barger has managed to compose an album full of three minute adult pop tunes that not only has a familiar feel to it but also a warm one at that. Recommended.

5 stars