Tell Me About It

Creed Bratton

Alien Chicken Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I think we're all used to movie stars taking stabs at music, but I can't think of too many TV stars that have taken the plunge. However, I guess it really isn't accurate to describe Creed Bratton as merely a TV star, though; his first passion was music, as Bratton's nomadic musician life turned into a successful stint fronting The Grass Roots in the '60s. Though he's most well known for playing himself on the wildly successful show my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Office, Bratton's music resurfaced again in 2001 with a string of solo albums. Tell Me About It is his sixth release.

The album is subtitled An Audio Autobiography About LSD, Unemployment, And Third Acts, and not surprisingly it sounds like it should be, too. Divided into three separate acts that were originally released as EPs before being collected into this album, each act touches on different chapters in Bratton's life.

Much like his personality and resume, this is a colorful, extremely varied and at times odd listening experience, to put it mildly. "Act I – Let's Start Dancing” starts out spoken word before venturing into spacey, jam band wandering, but that sound is only a shard of what's to come. "Unemployment Line" resides quite close to country, mostly comprised of Bratton with a guitar though warm pedal steel and soft female backing vocals linger as well. From there it's a kaleidoscope of sounds: "Pablo" is sparse and spacey with video game noises;  "My Name Is Leon" sounds like a show tune and is one of the most animated tracks; "Heart Of Darkness" is a breezy soft rock offering. Late in the disc things get louder and fuller, with "Move To Win" and "Better On Top" bringing in the volume and the horns.

This release is essentially an audio version of Bratton’s life story that focuses on his days with the Grass Roots up through his time with The Office. While the many moments of dialogue/spoken word and endless genre skipping make this is a challenging listen, it is one worth sticking out, even if just for the incredible tune "Faded Spots," which sounds like the song Westerberg forgot to write.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Alien Chicken Records, and is used for informational purposes only.