Brett Kissel: ‘What Is Life?’ – Album Review
Brett Kissel’s brand new album, What Is Life?, is available everywhere now, April 9th. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the 14-track collection of original material.
There’s music and then there’s artistry. Brett Kissel’s brand new record What Is Life? is the latter. The Canadian country superstar outdoes himself with this new release, creating a powerful project that is all love, all heart, and all honesty. The inspiration for the record stems from the philosophical question “What Is Life?” It is clear from this project that Kissel has answered that question for himself.
The first track off the project, “What Is Life? – A Perspective” sets the tone for the entire record. Interestingly enough, it is not a song, but a poetic prose that questions the meaning of life, how to live life in abundance and in gratitude, and the importance of family. Kissel asks the listener “What brings tears to your eyes or joy to your heart? What brings angst to your backbone, brings fire to your belly?,” adding, “I’m trying to figure it out too.”
With the rest of the album, fans get to hear exactly what conclusions the singer-songwriter has drawn from the original question. Songs like the lead single, “Make A Life, Not A Living” and “Down To Earth” remind us to fill our lives with experiences and moments with the people we love, rather than with money and material objects. Both songs encourage listeners to remove the veil that so often clouds our vision and to focus on the people and the experiences that bring us the most joy.
In a similar vein, “Die To Go Home” and “Everything In The Rearview” reminds listeners of the importance of sitting firmly in your roots. The former is a song about the appreciation of where you’re from, while the latter, one of our favorites, is one of the most nostalgic songs off the record. “Everything In The Review” takes us on a trip down memory lane reminding us of all the things that make us who we are.
“All the good, the bad, the tears, the laughs, the bitter, and the sweet // All the time we lost / The parking lots, those memories still run deep // It’s as part of me as my heart beating”
Proving that the past is just as important as the present, Kissel enlisted the help of his three children on this one-of-a-kind project. Family is clearly embedded into the fabric of who the singer is and the type of music he makes, so vocal clips of each of his three kids, Aria, Leo, and Mila were the perfect fit for the project. The children say things such as “You’re the love of my heart,” and “I love you more dad.” Even more special, in “From Leo,” Kissel’s wife is heard saying things like “You are brave” and “You are important” to their son.
Although most of the songs have at least a little bit to do with love, “Without” and “From This Day Forward” are the two most obviously romantic tunes. “Without” shows off Kissel’s vocals like no other, while “From This Day Forward” could be a future wedding song for anyone getting married soon. The song is lyrical vows, and we think it’s pretty sweet!
“I wouldn’t doubt us for a second // Now here we are, taking the next step // I want you to know that // I promise to put you first for the rest of my life // Take on your problems when they get too heavy // I’m always going to stand by your side // Hold you up when you feel unsteady”
Finally, we could not end this review without talking about the final track off the record, “Kindness.” The whole message of the album comes full circle with this song. The beautifully articulated tune is acoustic and even acapella at times, but the message is all heart. Making a reference to track number one, Kissel pictures what a world would be like if kindness was contagious. The message is just as special as the song, and the entire project as a whole.
“If kindness was contagious // And no one could escape it // It would be a four-letter word nobody used // Different isn’t dangerous // Hands were meant for shaking // Hearts were made for making love // This I promise you // The world would be such a better place // If kindness was contagious”
Get to know more about Brett Kissel in our interview below, where the talented singer-songwriter joined us for an acoustic performance and to chat about his artistry back in 2019.
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What Is Life? is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.