I was so unbelievably excited to hear I would be able to get a fourth album from out and proud Australian singer/songwriter Brett Every. I have to say upfront, I have loved his music from the first time I heard it, on a magical track off the 2009 album Fairy Godmother's Gone To Vegas. "Prince Charming" is an exceptional song, one I still love to play. And the video was outstanding. It took me no time to buy the album, and enjoyed it so much, I went back to buy the 2008 offering, Camping Out. I love the way Every compiles blues, rock and folk a story told with sensitivity, and sometimes humor. All the music kept the love affair going. By the time 2011's Menu was released, I couldn't wait. With fantastic songs like "Man Walks Into A Bar" and "Closure", I was still a card-carrying member of the fan club. So I have to admit I was predisposed to like it, but not only was that true, it surpassed my expectations
So now we get to Tales of Ten Men, the latest from Every. The fourteen-song collection, ten plus four bonus offerings, includes ten brand new songs, and four live recordings off previous albums. All the songs save one were written by Every. The album kicks off with "Henry", a story of what happens at the end of a relationship gone bad, from angry words to clothes in the front yard. "Ollie" is another tale, that of a neighbor. Only, he is more than just a neighbor, for it seems the singer stole his man. Then we get to a live recording of "Joey", originally on Menu. Written by Johnette Napolitano of the band Concrete Blond, the song is a hesitant search for love. Every gives it such beautiful treatment. Then Every kicks up the blues with "Brother Taylor", Brett's answer to the the soul classic, "Ode to Billie Jo". Every wants some answers about what some people, like Brother Taylor, wee doing when Billie Jo took the dive off the Tallahatchie Bridge. "Sidney" looks at the end of another relationship, one where it seems the two people have just grown apart. There is a heartbreak in his delivery that is palpable, and felt long after the last clipped note of the song. The next cut off the album is another live one, only this is a new song. Every has questions for "Doctor Joe", looking for ways to see if the good doctor could help him mend a broken heart. Next is a great song originally off Fairy Godmother's Gone To Vegas, given a fresh look with a live recording. "Mr. Smith"is a sweet yet painful discussion between a gay man and the less than accepting father of his partner. It is really a defiant apology, not willing to take less than approval. On "William", originally on the Camping Out album, adds a electric guitar to heighten the bluesy sound so right for a ex-lover looking for a second chance. Will love be better the second time around? "Gentleman" tells a story many, if not all of us, have been in before. There is hope that a new friend has been a gentleman after a night with too much alcohol, and the last memory is dancing to a Pointer Sisters song at the club. When we wake up on the sofa, do we really know what went on? The piano opening for "Jack" is so sweet, when the poignant song about the pain of a breakup continues to hurt, no matter how much we think we can push it away. I have to admit the song that got the first video is one that truly brought a tear to my eye. "What A Beautiful Day" is a wonderful discussion about the feelings of two men now getting married, and how their parents react. Check out the video with some beautiful animation and features beautiful support from Belinda Crawford.
The next song is a favorite from Camping Out and the final live cut on the album. "Devereaux" features lovely vocals from Jeremy Brennan, and, of course, Every. It is the story of a man working long hours and coming home to watch late-night reruns of The Golden Girls, featuring his favorite, Blanche Devereaux. Very touching, indeed, as the vocals are steeped in melancholy and loneliness. Next we have Every wanting to talk about his list for Santa, a little gay boy is disappointed by the traditional gifts he is getting each year. Not into sports or guns, why does Santa not read "My Christmas List". On the final cut, Every manages to fills the vocals with love, hope, and longing as he talks about a lover who must go home at "Midnight".
There you have it, a complete collection of stories telling a variety of tales of love and loss, of friends and lovers. This is what every has always done best, and he proves he still has it. His words and voice speak so directly to the heart, touching a pool of shared existence. I love the record, and know it will make a great addition to any collection. You can purchase Tales of Ten Men from iTunes. As I said before, I have own and love all four albums, so if you're up to new music, you could find it here. To get more information about Brett Every, check out his official website. You can follow him on Twitter, or "like" him on Facebook.