Blue-eyed soul is particularly prone to schmaltz, from overly sentimental subject matter to vocal histrionics passing themselves off as emoting. With gruff vocals reminiscent of John Hiatt and a rootsy swamp-pop patois inherited from his Boogie Kings guitarist father, Broussard imbues his soul music with a homey, rustic authenticity. At times on his 2004 major-label debut Carencro, he loses direction and wanders into the cloying, sensitive-songwriter folk-blues clichés staked out by artists such as Josh Kelley and Gavin DeGraw. After S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, last years album of R&B covers, Broussard returned in September with Keep Coming Back, a markedly more confident album that more aptly balances his Louisiana heritage and pop aspirations. Recorded quickly, with many tracks allegedly first takes, the arrangements have a warmth and vibrancy absent from the polished and manicured Carenco, providing a more welcoming stage for Broussards big, sinewy voice.
Sat., Dec. 20, 2008