Brymo documents his healing process and issues a response on ‘Libel’ [EP Review]
Libel EP is led by two instructive concepts; the EP’s title and the EP’s cover art.
It got particularly worse after an interview which Brymo did during the promo run for Yellow revealed that he derives inspiration from hedonism. While that wasn’t necessarily direct evidence of predatory behaviour, it was wrongly timed and didn’t help his cause for innocence.
ALSO READ: Brymo - Yellow [Album Review]
To make matters worse, Brymo didn’t back down on social media as he kept trolling and tweeting throughout the debacle. Some media platforms also launched an offensive against his character and brand. This is his first public bit of music since then.
Brymo seems to make reference to that scenario on, ‘Messiah Complexes.’ He sings, “These days, I don’t see news, it’s bought and paid for… The media sold their soul… Yet I don’t give two kobos if it all goes in flames…”
Libel EP is led by two instructive concepts; the EP’s title and the EP’s cover art. The art points to an arm of defamation of character by written content - which is something Brymo seems to think he faced during that infamous episode.
The art then seeks to corroborate the narrative. The art features a woman’s panties, blood and a broken glass. During that episode, Brymo was accused of predatory behaviour but he maintained his innocence. However, people - especially women and feminists - dispute it.
Through the art, Brymo seems to claim their actions were libelous. According to his art, even if a glass is broken, it doesn’t mean it’s the cause of a woman’s hurt. One could then argue that maybe, Brymo is the broken glass - but that might not be the case.
This EP seems like a response to that scenario with song titles like, ‘Messiah Complexes’ and ‘Phoenix.’ There are subtle references to that drama on Brymo’s lo-fi music of the Alternative, Soft Rock and Quiet Storm hue, and the music is largely about Brymo’s journey back to life, as aided by love.
On ‘Ascendancy,’ Brymo seems distant and aloof. He seems broken and reeling from pain as he aims to use the music as his therapy.
He sings, “So I sing, sing, sing, drown all my pain in the sound. So I breathe, breathe, breathe, the rhythm comes flowing through me...” His energy seems shattered and his willingness for importance seems drained.
This view is reinforced on ‘Phoenix’ as he sings, “I’ve been up and I’ve been down, lost my way came back around and I have no regrets…”
Basically, Brymo seems to be making reference to how that libelous occasion took a toll on him and how music helped him heal. ‘Love and Paradoxes’ opens to Lana Del Rey-esque piano chords as Brymo becomes a canvasser for love.
He sings, “Everybody needs somebody… I’ve longed to need nobody else, for I hope no explanation…” before breaking into an amazing hook, in a way that only Brymo can produce.
The song seems like a dedication to his wife, who helped him through that tough situation. What an amazing song…
On Soul chops, Brymo makes ‘Messiah Complex’ about a grave situation of internal conflict that he faced. He sings, “My mind is playing tricks on me and I can’t think clearly no… It seems like I’m drowning, but I’m still afloat and whole…”
How did he heal? He slowed down, realized he would be fine, asked his lover to come over and made love. After that morose, eerie spell, Brymo rises like the ‘Phoenix’ on Rosi Golan-esque Sentimental Ballad. But he also seems worryingly defiant.
He sings, “I had no defence, constantly repressed, I gave up my weapons… I’ll do it again, every little thing…”
He admits his dark time. But instead of rolling over, he finally finds his way and rises like the phoenix as he sings, “I’ve been up and I’ve been down, lost my way came back on top and I have no regrets…”
On the final track, Brymo seems to crawl back into that dark pessimism as he delivers a giant middle finger to the world, its values and its principles of rightness.
While this is the second best song on this EP, its pessimistic topic suggests that it should have come earlier than ‘Phoenix.’
‘Phoenix’ was the healing phase and ‘Life’ is an articulation of the pessimism that needed to be healed. Alongside the slightly unsatisfying production -compared to Brymo’s usual effort, for example - on two songs, the placement is one of two criticisms for this EP.
‘Life’ shares striking similarities with Fleurie’s timeless Alternative/Indie beauty, ‘Hurts Like Hell.’
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10
Content, Penmanship and Delivery: 1.8/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.6/2
8.2 - Champion
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