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CD REVIEW: Jean Bratman - Imperfect World
By Ben Ohmart - 05/21/2007 - 10:34 AM EDT

Artist: Jean Bratman
Genre: Folk
CD Review:
It’s interesting reading about Jean’s placement in songwriting competitions. She is progressing. In 1996, an honorable mention. 1998: finalist. 1999? Winner, of course. From NY to CA, she’s played all the festivals, all the coffeehouses. This babe with the soft folk voice gets around. For her World, she dips into the private side and comes away with a heaping handful of happy musical/lyrical hooks.

On the softer area of the pillow we’re given ‘How Much Love’, which asks the relatively new question, how much love can this heart hold? ‘I’m reaching out, hoping you’ll come ‘round / I can’t nail your feet, but I can stare you down / misunderstanding, yeah, it’s really a sin / baby, let’s not fight ‘cause I can’t bear to win’. Her lover’s asking for a capacity count. Jean passes the question on to you. Who knows?

Produced by the glowing Al Hemberger ­ of The Renovators ­ the 11 songs and 40 minutes that Jean steals away from your life you’ll never miss. Liking folk-based music or not, you can’t escape the charm of Jean’s acoustic/electric music that runs the gambit of pace, theme and setting. Right now, ‘I Get It’. She’s so damn happy the relationship is over, she’s throwing confetti. But it’s just Jean and guitar, no other help is needed. ‘I’ve been begging you for more, and now I’m gonna get it / Gonna throw it back at you, you’ll be so sorry that you said it / I won’t be hanging ‘round here begging no more / You can bet it / ‘Cause I get it.’ Yeah, she gets it. And we’re proud of her.

Jean has already opened for the likes of Richie Havens and Bill Morrissey. Give her a good guitar, a quiet setting, some latte-slurping audiences, and she’s going to fit in like woodwork. For a cool sound of one of the deeper ballads, fueled with full production, go to ‘Trouble’. There’s something vaguely Irish about this. Never quite country. Always a pleasure. ‘you go left to find me / go right, I could be there / one step ahead you meet me face to face / like an angel of light I beckon, but you stare through my sweet veneer.’

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