Brighter Shades
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Brighter Shades

Band Pop Rock


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""...triumphant, monster of an album""

The bane of being a music reviewer is sorting through endless amounts of drivel that passes for music. Discs upon discs are poorly executed, underperformed and altogether sloppy. The debut LP from Baltimore's Brighter Shades is the antithesis of these things. A sterling execution in pop prettiness, You Shine So Bright is the kind of collection that makes one believe in the power of music. Fronted by should-be megastar Trevor Simpson, You Shine So Bright has a Beatles-like playfulness, crystalline production and oozes with confidence, professionalism and panache. Make no mistake about it, this is one of the better discs that has come across this desk all year.

Simpson isn't blessed with the most sturdy of voices, but he knows how to bend and twist his timbre without compromising the verses or melody. It's this inherent ability that seems to tower above this triumphant, monster of an album. Whether its born talent or just a keen eye for detail, his star appeal knows no limits. His heart-on-the-sleeve, self-depricating, inward lyrics are brutally honest, humorous and light-hearted, without forsaking charisma or integrity. The gravitas at work here is nothing entirely earth-stopping or painful, but is nonetheless hard to turn away from. He seems to sing about the foibles, fumbles and facts of life in a way that's wholly refreshing, engaging and candid.

Opener "How To Keep You Around," is a no-nonsense, by-the-book power pop song with few frills and tons of charm. Second track "Pick a Day," introduces horns and does so without sounding trite, cliched or overdone. Said horns stick around for the remainder of the disc and their contributions sound best on fourth track "Replaced," and sixth track "There's Nothing Stranger." Even on the saccharine valentine "You Shine So Bright," the trio is able to weave a mushy, love song into an inviting and playful romp. Additionally, the effervescent, sun-drenched melodies on third track "Roots," and fifth track "Senses," are further proof that this band is assuredly destined for bigger audiences.

Being that Simpson self-produced, mixed and engineered this disc all himself is really quite astonishing. There's a major-label gloss that coats every nuanced detail and gives the songs a life and energy that glimmers from the very first note. Make no mistake about it, this kind of talent is worth recognizing, and Simpson is for all intents and purposes a poor man's Ryan Tedder, just waiting for the right people to take notice. From front to back, there is nary a dud or skippable moment on this disc. Moreover, with a running time of only 20 minutes, there's little reason to pass this up. A and R reps would be smart to take a gander at Brighter Shades, there is something wholly convivial and cheerful about this music, and the stadiums of the world seem just a few short breaks from hearing it.

"" for all to enjoy.""

Being an avid show goer and a supporter of local bands in the vast and popular Baltimore music scene, I have observed that it seems to be quite the uphill battle to stand out. However, this is not the case for Brighter Shades.

Brighter Shades is a three piece unique pop band who capture a feeling that can very well be described from the title of their EP 'You Shine So Bright'.

Although most reviews tend to not brush over a band's live performance, I believe Brighter Shades is worth mentioning. Between their funny banter in between songs and their wide arrange of instrumental capabilities, I have never been bored or letdown when Trevor Simpson, Matt Galler and Andrew Cohen take the stage.

Drawing influences from The Format and The Beach Boys, it's clearly evident while listening to their music, that this band is here to stay with a sound that is fun for all to enjoy. Their EP 'You Shine So Bright' is available to download for FREE on their website, - AMP Baltimore


"You Shine So Bright" (2009) - Debut EP
Includes the single "How to Keep You Around"



Brighter Shades is the band that no one saw coming. Emerging from the abrupt break-up of their former band, Gatsby Gets the Green Light, the remaining three members refused to lay down their instruments and set out to create truly memorable music. Drawing from pop influences such as The Format and the Beach Boys, Brighter Shades has worked to create their own unique style of powerhouse pop. These guys will take your heart and mind on an emotional rollercoaster, so lay back, grip tight, and remember - the future is brighter!