Before he added The Naked Hearts as his backing band, Brian Molnar performed as a solo artist. On his self-titled debut, he shows a more folk-based style than the Americana/Alt-Country genre that his newer work with the full band possesses. Both styles seem to suit Brian well, and it’s fascinating to look back and see how the different musical directions changed his songs.
The album kicks off with “Sante Fe,” a beautiful tune about a wandering bard off in the country. It sets off a series of songs about travel, dreams, and the things (and people) we leave behind. While not a true concept album, it’s like a diary of a young artist.
Hello Santa Fe, dream of dreams
I’ve come to know you again it seems
You caught me ridin’ low
Picked me up and let me go
And it’s hello Santa Fe, dream of dreams
-- “Sante Fe”
I left my dreams
In the water under the bridge
Laying on the tracks
Hoping for a sign
Can’t read nothing
But that train driver’s mind
And I pray to God
That you’d throw me a line
-- “Throw Me A Line”
It’s a crime that virtually every singer-songwriter is compared to the likes of Bob Dylan, but I’ll do it anyway. While Brian’s voice is nothing like Dylan’s, there are similarities with his lyrics and melodies. On this early release he establishes himself as a truly amazing songwriter; mixing poetry with music and sparkling bits of wisdom, just as Dylan did several decades earlier.
Highlights include “Sante Fe,” “Miss You,” “Black and Blue,” “Throw Me A Line,” and “Chariots.”
From the book Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists
by Gary Wien