ALBUM: scorpio monologue
BAND: david brookings &
the average lookings
reviewed by jessica holly
Photo by Helene Button
DAVID BROOKINGS & THE AVERAGE LOOKINGS
Released 4/19/2019 (Byar Records)
Musicians: David Brookings: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Patrick Yoho: Guitars, Vocals
Dan Erlewine: Bass
Horst Gavin: Keyboards, Melodica
Matt Webb: Keyboards
McKinley Brookings: Vocals
Shelby Brookings: Vocals
Brady Brookings: Vocals
Producers: David Brookings
David Brookings hails from Richmond Virginia and started playing music at a precocious 9 years old. Since then, Mr. Brookings has released 6 solo albums and a self-titled album as David Brookings & The Average Lookings.
Scorpio Monologue marks the 2nd full length album by David Brookings & The Average Lookings and is David's Brookings' 8th release.
As a Bubblegum and Power Pop fan with an oldies/rock upbringing and an emo/punk past, I had never heard of David Brookings & The Average Lookings until I was asked to review this album, but I swear I fell in love with them before I even heard their music, the moment I heard their band name. So charming. So clever.
I really loved Scorpio Monologue from start to finish. It has a lot of upbeat energy, relatable lyrical content, nostalgic but modern sound, a little edge, a little sadness, a sense of humor and lots of heart. I give big points for heart.
The first song And It Feels Like... immediately gave me “Emo Beach Boy vibes” (a term I just coined for this specific band because I’ve never heard a genre like this, you’re welcome). It’s both a bop that makes you wanna dance in the sand and an angsty jam you could sing LOUD and head bang to if you were really feeling it. This mix of happy and sad tones in the first song sort of sets us up for what we’ll be hearing for a lot of the album and I am into it!
She’s Mad At Me Again is a happy sounding song with silly-sad lyrics, which I related to immediately, and wanted to listen to on repeat so I could learn the words. I love how you can tell he’s an emotional guy with a happy-go-lucky spirit; he’s been through a lot but he still wants to have FUN! This is my kind of music.
Be Gone (Whoever You Are) is one of my favorite songs lyrically. It’s so simple but so effective it makes me want to shoo away and sing sweetly “Be gone, whoever you are” to anyone who horrifies me in the future.
But my FAVORITE song, without a doubt is Silicon Valley, though I may
be a little biased as a Northern California native. Who cares! I was so
excited to hear an anthem for my home written with such humor and truth,
the last line of the song being a hilarious and beautifully harmonized
“Steeeeve Jobbbbbbs”. Haha! Can’t wait to share this song with all my
friends and family back home.
One track I truly enjoyed that took me by surprise was Without You, a cover of the song written in 1970 by Badfinger (Pete Ham & Tom Evans) and covered by over 180 artists including Johnny Mathis, Hall & Oats, Donny Osmond, but most famously covered by Harry Nilsson (1971) and later popularized again by Mariah Carey in 1994. Everyone knows this song! It’s a romantic, emotional tune and this band delivers it in such a sweet, stripped down way with rhythmic acoustic guitar and a background harmony paired with David’s silky falsetto and increasingly passionate lyrical delivery. Delicious ear food.
I feel like Scorpio Monologue was written by an early 2000s emo band who grew up on the beach. It’s gripping but it also makes you wish you were drinking something with an umbrella in it. I guess what I’m trying to say is if I were quarreling with a lover and trying to cheer myself up with a windows-down-solo-drive to the beach, this is the album I would blast the whole way and I would cry my eyes out with a big smile on my face.
For me, that makes this a great album. I love it and I will be adding it to both my sunny day and rainy-day playlists.
Do yourself a favor and fall as in love with Scorpio Monologue as I did.
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DISCLAIMER: HOP ON POWER POP doesn't give stars, a grade or any sort of quantifiable rating. What HOP ON POWER POP does is let you know what H.O.P.P. thought of the music by the band at this particular time. If an album isn't to our liking or fitting into the Power Pop genre enough, we simply won't review it.
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