The Los Angeles songwriting tandem of Brian Blackburn and Christian Carpenter are poised to enter the music industry like a storm. Though their unique blend of dark rock and melodic pop is a new to the industry, the duo have already accomplished much and assembled some impressive credits. Brian Blackburn is an engineer in Los Angeles, where he's worked with several notable artists including Aerosmith, Madonna, and Mary J. Blige. He's also recorded music for television and film, handling such disparate projects as advertisements, scores for films, and sound quality for prime-time programming. Christian Carpenter has written for and performed with a host of bands since the late eighties/early nineties. Among them is Track One AB, who put out a series of releases through Royalty Records, the company that broke Bad Boy Recording Artists Fuzzbubble. His music can be heard on MTV programs like The Real World and several independently-released films. Together, Blackburn and Carpenter make a fierce kind of music that is relentless in it's search for depth and sensitivity as well as it's dedication to the finest in songwriting craftsmanship. Carpenter's dark, passionate vocals and haunting melodies are reminiscent of a huskier Gabriel, and, especially towards the end of songs like "When It Rains," when he slips into his higher range, there's a pure and desperate yearning not heard since the days of early U2. And Blackburn's sense of composition is exquisite. He moves fluidly from tender yet assertive string arrangements to skyrocketing Gilmore-esque guitar work. The production really shines on songs like "Dust," and, "Let's Stay the Same While We Change," and after a few listens, indeed, becomes the not-so-inconspicuous third member of this dynamic songwriting team. Blackburn and Carpenter's songs seem poised for something really big. And what's so special is that, while embracing this grand scope of endless possibilities in radio and film and who knows what (these songs have immense potential), they have an intimate humility lyrically and emotionally. While the wall of guitars and samples and rock blows you away sonically, the voice and sentiment at the center of it all grounds you and says, "I'm your friend; I have the same fears and ambitions as you." And you listen. And you nod your head. And you can't help but agree. Alan Semerdjian writer/musician New York Sepetember 2004.
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