[2 October 2000]

By Erin Hucke

It is obvious Canadian songwriter Dan Bryk has been burnt by the red hot flames of love a few too many times. Lovers Leap is more or less a collection of jaded love songs, with a few pre-breakup, sweeter songs mixed in. “Bound to be Happy” offers some irony-laden best wishes to Bryk’s ex-girlfriend (whom he still loves) as she marries another man. He expresses his desires to love a “chunky girl” who would equal his own stature in “BBW”.

But Bryk doesn’t take himself too seriously. His former teenage self fantasizes over being just like “Mark Turmell”, “the best programmer in the whole entire world”, and explains how he would stay up all night laboring over his Apple II so he could “modem the other geeks”.

Musically, Bryk varies from silly to solemn, from more subdued piano melodies (“Fingers”, “Spadina Expressway”) to bouncy pop tunes (“I Love You Goodbye”, “And Now Our Love is Dead.”)

It’s apparent Bryk has modeled himself partially in the shape of Ben Folds with his witty lyrics over melodic piano. This is most readily seen where his voice squeaks thinly on “She Doesn’t Mean a Thing to Me Tonight”, a song carried over from his first record Dan Bryk, Asshole. Though the comparison to Ben Folds is clear, congratulatory and condemning (as any comparisons are) at the same time, Bryk definitely has cultivated his own sound mixing elements from other artists like Randy Newman, Elvis Costello and Pavement into his songs while maintaining his individual style and signature theme.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/brykdan-lovers/