CD Review: Alysha Brillinger’s Brilla
by: Craig Dubecki
“Music is nothing separate from me. It is me. You’d have to remove the music surgically.” – Ray Charles
This is also Alysha Brillinger. Music is Alysha, and she is music.
Ah, summertime; warm weather, drinks and outdoor patios, sunlight until late. Give me all of those and then, to make it perfect, make sure Alysha Brillinger’s latest album Brilla is playing in the background! Actually, I’ll take the album anytime: fall, spring and especially winter, when we all need some sunshine!
It’s been a year since Alysha’s last album. Much has happened since then in her life. To know Alysha is to know a young woman who has not only an amazingly charismatic charm about her, but also a fearless strength. Her artistic abilities clearly display that strength. Not only does Alysha Brillinger know how to strum an acoustic guitar, she is a truly wonderful singer and songwriter. Those of you who have followed her on Facebook have been witness to her vision and love of songwriting. Brilla represents her artistic freedom.
Wanting to ensure that she is accurately represented, Alysha went independent. She’s a firm believer in live-off-the-floor recording as it embodies the spirit of her music. Always adamant that auto tune never touch her work, she has a polished voice where that will never be a concern. After making the decision to go on her own, followed by a few drinks with friends, she promptly started working on her new independent album. This album very much marks a new beginning for her, with her artistic integrity fully intact.
The album Brilla was recorded at River Edge Studio in Kitchener, although the last song on the album was recorded in her hotel room in Los Angeles. Teaming up with Alysha is Brendan White on bass guitar and Sam Dlugokecki on the cajon drum, two exceptional musicians. Overall, the album is fun yet tight. Since her last album, the increased maturity, not only in songwriting but also delivery, is clearly evident. It is fun yet sustains the high level of professionalism Alysha sets for herself. Her producing skills, which reflect her undying musical passion, are improving by leaps and bounds.
Right from the beginning strums of the first song, ‘In My Head’, your feet will be tapping to the beat. The message feels familiar because we’ve all been there, seeing someone we’re attracted to and imagining what life would be like with that person. Leading into the line “I want to make your girlfriend disappear” is a suddenly sultry voice. This is a very jazzy tune with that fun, light-hearted nature that we have all come to love as the Alysha Brillinger trademark and.
The third song, ‘Let Me Love You’, carries that same general theme of imaginary lust, love and letting one’s imagination play with the possibilities. The change in vocals, slowly getting lower and sultrier, adds to the dialogue-style of singing. Telling the story from the perspective viewpoint of how she sees the guys watching her is unique and clever.
‘Distracted’ brings us near the end of the CD, but by no means does it mean Alysha is slowing down. This is a high energy “wanting” song. In other words, “I’m hoping that you might tell me something that makes me want to stay.” Oh, the dates I’ve been on that were like this! Alysha? Cool lead guitar!
Spending much of her time in Kitchener-Waterloo, Alysha is also travelling and performing a great deal in Toronto and out west. There are many jazz/piano bars that have been as blessed as we have with her performances, including those from her new album, Brilla (this should be in everyone’s collection!).
Alysha Brillinger will be performing these songs and more at her official CD release party on May 18th at 8pm at the Little Bean Café in Kitchener.