Monday, June 20, 2011

Mary Bragg: Tattoos & Bruises Album Review


I'm going to come right out and say it, I'd never even heard of Mary Bragg before I received her album in the mail. I'm a fan of a lot of country music, I'm addicted to all things Dixie Chicks, so I was anxious to hear what she and her new album 'Tattoos & Bruises' had to offer.

First of all, I love the album title...it's pretty kick ass. Second, this girl can sing! Her voice is powerful, yet soft and smooth. The songs have a great melody and each one tells it's own story. Some of the songs are uplifting and there are others that are very mellow, giving this album a great mix of music for any mood you may be in. All in all though, this is definitely a 'romantic' type of album with most, if not all, of the songs pertaining to love/relationships.

This is Mary Bragg's 3rd album. She beautifully wrote all of the songs on this album herself, some in collaboration with other writers (including her bassist husband) but they're all full of her thoughts and feelings. While listening to the album I couldn't help but think she's great mix between Jewel, Sheryl Crow and The Dixie Chicks.

In an interview with No Depression she was asked what her inspiration for Tattoos & Bruises was and she stated:
"On the subway one day I saw a girl with a tattoo on her ankle, and she had a bruise on her calf. For a second I wondered how she got the bruise... then the words came together in my mind, and I thought.. wow that has a nice ring to it, "Tattoos and Bruises". Within the hour, the melody was written. It wasn't until over a year later that the song was completed - there were so many images of this couple we wanted to have in the song - how a relationship leaves a heavy mark on you, oftentimes a much more permanent one than a tattoo, even when you try your hardest to erase it."
Tattoos & Bruises wasn't particularly my favorite song but it is good and the lyrics are totally heartfelt. I found a few of the songs to be a little too lovey dovey for me but that's just because I'm wasn't in that type of mood, give me some wine and I'm sure it'll be fine. I feel I should also note that I sort of jumped the gun by putting this album in the Country genre 'cause I believe the correct one(s) would be Americana/Country/Folk.

I really liked this album. I found myself singing 'When Your Heart Belongs To Another' all day long, ha ha. It's definitely an album I'll be listening to again while writing or just relaxing at home.

About Mary Bragg and Tattoos & Bruises:

Born in Swainsboro, Georgia, singer-songwriter Mary Bragg lived in a number of Southern musical capitals—Athens, Atlanta, Nashville—before settling in New York in 2004. Her music is consequently a seamless hybrid of her Southern Americana roots and the downtown New York singer-songwriter community of which she has become a key member.

Backing Bragg on the album is the same accomplished band of players who perform in her live shows, including Rich Hinman, Steve Elliot and Adam Levy (guitars), Jordan Perlson and Brian Wolfe (drums), Jimmy Sullivan (bass), Mike Cassedy (piano, organ) and Marika Hughes (cello). While she has drawn comparisons to Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin—and does indeed bear some stylistic resemblances to them—Bragg comfortably inhabits her unique fusion of American musical forms on Tattoos and Bruises: folk, rock, pop, and country. Bragg is especially beloved for her live performances.

Tattoos and Bruises consists of 10 tracks (preview them here):
  1. How and Why
  2. When Your Heart Belongs To Another (My favorite)
  3. Tattoos and Bruises
  4. Leave Tonight
  5. Hanging On The Wheel
  6. The General
  7. Gone
  8. Wildflower
  9. Morning Lover
  10. Hurricane
You can purchase the album here & here.
Visit Mary Bragg on her website, Twitter, and Facebook.

(Disclosure: Sneak Attack provided me with the above mentioned album in order to review it. I was not monetarily compensated for writing this review. The views & opinions expressed in this post are mine.)



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