Brad Atkin
Stubborn Clouds


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (73 Reviews)
January 31st, 2013 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sometimes I find that I am fine. The walking dead brought back to life. My legs are numb, but know that I am going home.

In all honesty, I am conflicted when it comes to this album. I know that this album will not appeal to everyone, but it seems I will never outgrow a somewhat sheltered childhood; the sheltered childhood that saw me growing up with “Christian Rock Bands”, or a childhood that saw me screaming “What you got. What you want. What you need. Gonna be your savior!” to anyone who would hear me. So it is only fitting that as I embrace my formative years I cannot shake my love for Christian artists. If one were to examine a list of my favorite artists, most would have at one point in their career been labeled Christian. And so enters Brad Atkin, a talented singer/songwriter out of one of the largest suburbs of Detroit Sterling Heights, Michigan, who one day may find himself upon that arbitrary list.

the swing set starts out the record as most album openers do, exemplifying exactly the sound Atkin attempted (and succeeded) to create. Although this track is entirely acoustic, the tone is set for the entire record. As the song ends, we are immediately snapped back to attention as the track come alive introduces the rest of the band, to much delight of the listener. More often than not, purely acoustic albums tend to grow stale around the 3rd or 4th song, a fact that Atkin is acutely aware of. Be it the Pensacola-esque (of Manchester orchestra) group vocals of a place broken men go or the gorgeous vocals of Atkin’s wife Megan on multiple tracks, Stubborn Clouds proves to be, if nothing else, an interesting and exciting listen.

As earlier implied, Atkin plays what will inevitably be labeled as “Christian” indie music. I’m am hoping that this description doesn’t conjure up images of bonfires with an acoustic guitar singing “I got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart”; far from it, Atkin sings with a sense of passion devoid from much of the music in this stagnant genre. Musically Atkin implements varied instrumentation, although for an indie artist it is fairly normal to hear banjos plucking away or synthesizers creating a musical landscape, all the while never forgoing melody or an innate sense of catchiness. It also helps that I am a sucker for reverb-filled and delay-ridden guitar tones, which is no more prominent on this release than the climax of standout track search for shores. Lyrics, while never trying to disguise their overtly Christian message, are often written cleverly or just plain beautifully. Although I know this is the most clichéd cliché of all time, with every repeated listen I find this record saying exactly what I need to hear.

All clichés aside, Brad Atkin is a singer who quite frankly, deserves more attention than he has recieved. While I do not pretend to be an expert on the ever expansive “indie” genre, I have seemed to notice that throughout the world, indie bands are picking up more and more steam, often times leading to a watered down shell of what past Indie/Folk bands once was. These easily digestible albums are occurring at an alarming rate, and in a day where Mumford and Sons passes for an acceptable indie band to the general public, it is refreshing to hear releases such as Stubborn Clouds.

Yet I find that I’m not fine. These bitter bones are growing tired.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It took me way to long to write this. But anyway, I know this wont be for everyone. But he definitely deserves more than one vote on this website and 35 fans on facebook lol. But it's late, so i probably have a few errors in grammar and whatnot. I'd appreciate if you could help me out with said mistakes

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't think i've ever had a review that has received no replies. lol so i shall shamelessly bump this

ABjordanMM
January 31st 2013


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great job man. Although one thing, Megan is his wife, not his sister. Lol but you definitely do the album justice. I'll tell him to check the review out.

Digging: Manchester Orchestra - Hope

brandonheath95
January 31st 2013


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review! i found it on bandcamp but i couldn't find it anywhere else. it has been on repeat. i love that it doesn't seem like a christian album as much as it seems like a normal album that was written by a christian. seems authentic.

ABjordanMM
January 31st 2013


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've talked to him about it and that's exactly what he was going for. Not a person writing Christian music, but a Christian writing music about life.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoops. Ill correct that as soon as I can get on my computer. Lol probably shouldn't have assumed

brandonheath95
January 31st 2013


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well, tell that guy that he made a great album. the story aspect really hit me. ive been going through some tough stuff and he really hit put words to what i felt.

ABjordanMM
January 31st 2013


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This really does need more attention.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sadly it seems I am not well known enough around here to popularize it. lol

ABjordanMM
January 31st 2013


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You should be! You gave written some of my favorite reviews.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well thanks man. I don't really comment on threads outside of my reviews so that can't really help

ABjordanMM
February 1st 2013


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sometimes the people on this site are just lame.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brad sent me a message on Facebook thanking me for this review and said he is going to send me a download link for this album. Seems like a great guy.

ABjordanMM
February 2nd 2013


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah he's awesome. I've played music with him a few times at church events. Great musician also.

brandonheath95
February 2nd 2013


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

a link for people to stream. http://bradatkin.bandcamp.com

ABjordanMM
February 2nd 2013


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally bought it.

ABjordanMM
October 20th 2013


1408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jamming this now.



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