TJ Broscoff - The Break
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The Break (BGM, 2013)

TJ Broscoff

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

The second release from San Antonio-based singer/songwriter T.J. Broscoff is a mix of Texas alt.-country with touches of blues and rock. Broscoff is at his best in country rockers such as "Phone Calls," in which he laments feeling lonely despite constant business interruptions ("And I want to talk so desperately/But when the phone rings it's really not for me"), and "Needle to the Bone," a stark look at the consequences of drug abuse ("I just want to put the gun to my head/Turn out the lights and go to bed/But I remember what the good book said/And I won't go to Heaven").

Broscoff is also effective with acoustic ballads such as "Debt," in which the singer confronts feelings of apprehension upon establishing a new connection ("I'm so scared now, baby, being exposed like this/People have run all over me in past relationships"). One track that suffers a bit from overproduction is "Everything," which begins strongly with Broscoff and his acoustic guitar, but gets progressively more muddled with added instrumentation.

Other highlights are the bluesy "Twenty More Dollars" about the evils of gambling ("Just wait until the morning you can see the light/I'm losing at this battle/But I'm gonna win the fight"), and the title track in which the singer anticipates lost love ("This gets harder/She's getting smarter/There's no more right here/Waiting on the break").

With strong compositions and Broscoff's effective vocals, at times reminiscent of Rodney Crowell or Slaid Cleaves, this is an entertaining effort.

CDs by TJ Broscoff

The Break, 2013

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