http://www.itstartshear.com is more than just a website. It’s also more than just an album. It’s a musical journey, painstakingly crafted by incredibly talented 25 year old multi-instrumentalist and composer Peter Broderick. The idea of the album-title doubling as a URL is his brainchild which causes listeners to create a link to the website every time they discuss the album, where they will be able to find lyrics and artwork, much like a physical album. This is due to Broderick’s feelings that when music is downloaded, the listener loses the full experience of being able to view the artwork and read the lyrics as the artist originally intended, so this way they get the whole package regardless of how they acquire the album, a novel idea that makes you consider how impersonal listening to music has become with the dominant forces of iTunes and Spotify.
As good as the beliefs behind the album are, it would be nothing if the music itself wasn’t up to scratch. Luckily, http://www.itstartshear.com is a joy of an album. From the opening strings and piano arrangement of I Am Piano to the acapella ending of Everything I Know, Broderick explores many ideas and musical environments without ever losing the flow of the album, or losing the listener’s attention. This is an album that can be listened to over and over again, and each time I guarantee you will find something new to fall in love with.
There are also many different levels you can listen to http://www.itstartshear.com on. Whether you want music to soundtrack your day, chill out to, act as background music, or even fall asleep to, it can all be found here. The meaning behind the songs are fascinating as well, with soft guitar ballad Blue being a song written by Broderick’s father that he has adapted as his own and A Tribute To Our Letter Writing Days recalling an exchange of romantic letters Broderick experienced a few years ago. Album highlight Asleep is a hauntingly touching tribute to a friend who passed away, with an incredible sense of real emotion being created through Broderick’s use of testimonies and comments from friends which he gathered via the internet. Beautiful is a word that is thrown around far too much, but it is the only way I could think of to describe this track.
The skill of Broderick as a composer is obvious on this album, with only two of its ten tracks clocking in at less than five minutes. All of the songs are perfectly crafted and lovingly put together, as he demonstrates an ear for melody and structure that most artists could only dream of. Whilst the dominant sounds are those of acoustic guitar and piano, he includes slight curveballs such as the title track, with a strong emphasis on beats and a spoken word, almost hip hop style, reminiscent of the style of current mainstream darling Ed Sheeran, but vastly superior. Some may see the blatant self-promotion of including the full album title/website address as the chorus of the track as pretentious, but trust me, after a couple of listens you will never forget it, so it does its job perfectly. Even small things like the inclusion of small clicks and hums from the recording equipment feel like part of the album, as they make it an intimate listening experience.
The only track on this album I didn’t enjoy was Bad Words, as its initially interesting foreign language verse slows down into a few simple piano notes, which felt like they dragged on for far too long. This is but a small blemish on an otherwise glorious album, one which deserves a huge amount of attention both for its content and its ideals. A complete triumph. A masterpiece. It starts here.
Peter Broderick’s new album is available now.