For People Like Us
"To have striven, to have made the effort, to have been true to certain ideals - this alone is worth the struggle." - William Penn Struggle is the central theme throughout Bryan Master's third solo effort, For People Like Us. It's like a lyrical schizophrenic therapy session between the 'you' that you wanted to be, and the 'you' that you've become...in most cases, the 'Us' being two versions of Master, himself. For People Like Us strives to remind us of how important each moment is...and that the journey is as important as the destination. The album's credits read like an indie-artists' wishlist: Liz Phair, Rami Jaffee, Jordan Zevon, Jonny Polonsky and Pete Yorn's entire backing band...just to name (drop) a few. Recorded in Los Angeles, under the supervision of seasoned musician, TV/Film score composer and Producer Evan Frankfort, the duo wanted to record a classic-sounding, multifarious album with an ensemble cast - consisting entirely of friends and respected colleagues. The album chronicles an artist's decade-long struggle - a coming-of-age tale that touches on themes including success, fame, art, love, freedom, altruism, desperation, idealism, God, family, life and death. The setting: New Jersey, New York City and Los Angeles, circa 2000 - 2010. Autobiographical? You might say that. The story is told through an eclectic batch of complex, lush instrumentations and melodic vocals. You'll hear draws from his Irish roots, melodic nods to the classic sounds that defined his native New Jersey/Philadelphia scene in the '50s & '60s and a blend of alt-rock, Baroque Chamber/pop and ambient, cinematic sound-scapes. It plays like a motion picture soundtrack - each song with it's own unique mood and texturing, but with a common thread weaving them all together. The making of this record, alone, was a struggle - three years in the making. Since 2008, Master has been re-defining what it truly means to be an "indie" artist, one song...and one dollar, at a time. He found himself without label support or solicited funding, and made a truly 'indie' record - he funded it himself. Three years and 12 tracks later, it's a huge-sounding, professionally produced album. This certainly doesn't sound like an indie-album...but you can feel the artistic struggle and soul of his punk roots and "do-it-yourself" ethos in every song. So who is the 'Us' in the story? Us is the artists, altruists, idealists, the lovers, the dreamers...people who get it...people like us.