Nashville–based musician Cory Branan’s latest album off the Bloodshot label is aptly named: Mutt is an ambitious amalgamation of musical styles with a Leonard Cohen-like conversational approach to lyrics that’s completely lacking in coherence or cohesion. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’ll quickly find the Southhaven, Mississippi–native is a consummate storyteller, and the breadth of genres he touches on to be effective and endearing. “Survivor Blues” and “Badman” contain the sort of melodies and grandeur, with hard-hitting piano, reminiscent of Springsteen or Mellencamp. “Darken My Door” sounds like a track straight off of Ryan Adams’s Heartbreaker (with Branan’s signature booze-soaked, croaky voice, of course). You’ll also find Delta blues elements, country numbers, and even some Motown deference. He stumbles in some places, as in “Snowman,” where he seems to attempt his own take on Tom Waits’s circus-blues style that feels almost too much like a show tune to work. Overall, the album is a welcome addition to Branan’s discography.
Buy the album here.