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Brian Sofer - Excerpts from a live performance...
by: John Townsend

Visit John's website www.JohnTown.com

As I started listening to Brian Sofer's CD, I heard a voice that I immediately wanted to like. It was reminiscent of Barry McGuire or some of the great '60šs white boy soul shouters. But as the songs and the live set wear on, it is difficult to stay with him as his lyrics and subject matter fall far below what I was hoping for when I heard his voice.

I would like to see Brian take his lyric writing more seriously. I'd recommend trying to think more like a screen writer developing his work. Craft the story or characters in such a way as to create empathy for the subject or the storyteller. And, in the words of the immortal Helmut Haussman (an English and Composition professor I had in college), "avoid cliches like he plague".

Brian starts with some solid ideas but they just don't take you very far. Several songs on the CD have a good start as story type ballads, but either his song craft or his poetic sense go astray and leave you with a series of repeated or unfinished ideas. If Brian can either write or find the kind of songs worthy of his voice, he'll expand his possibilities.

There are very few songwriters, that wrote masterpieces on their maiden voyage. A fair amount of work and self examination are required.