What makes this debut album notable is its combination of stellar songwriting and its never predictable blending of rock, folk, and country musical styles.

What makes this debut album notable is its combination of stellar songwriting and its never predictable blending of rock, folk, and country musical styles. Branan, winner of the 2000 Phillips Award for newcomer of the year from the Memphis chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, has created an interesting slate of songs that largely deal with relationships. Opening track "Miss Ferguson" has a skillful guitar and percussion exchange as well as such stimulating lyrics as "I wanna tell her how I feel/but each time that I start/ my tongue wraps like a tetherball/six times around my heart." With the country-tinged guitar ballads "Tame" and "Love Song 8," Branan's voice exudes a believable, poignant tenderness. "Spoke Too Soon" could be the album's highlight, with its incredible bass sections and its exquisite expression of the pain of losing out on love.—JK

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