It’s been almost a year and a half since I wrote about the single that would become the lead track on Brett Altman’s ambitious LP Not Quite Love. I really enjoyed the feel of that song, and the boldness of the vocals. At the time I said it could be part of a Broadway show, so I’m happy to hear that the album is all one narrative, much like a musical if it were all performed by one person.
The thing I appreciate most about Altman’s style is his ability to go big. He trusts his voice and never waivers. Sometimes it’s as smooth as a light rock James Taylor and other times it’s more gritty and aggressive. On the song “Placeholder” you get a little bit of both.
Through nine songs, Altman shows his strengths in songwriting across different styles. On one track he’s got the guitars blazing and the drums kicking like crazy, and then on the next he features a mournful cello beneath his words of sorrow and regret. The contrasts between the songs can be stark, but they fit together in the overall story he’s telling.
Not Quite Love is a record to which anyone can relate. The songs touch on love, anger, jealousy, loss, and acceptance. This universality gives the album a sense of familiarity that brings the listener in, so it’s more of a conversation than a lecture.