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Check out some of the ExMogul Music reviews from the archives, below.

I reviewed music on and off for about 15 years, while I took a break from singing and doing gigs.

Now I've flipped that around. And here's my band, SPEED LIMIT 70.

December 10, 2008

Brian Sizensky

In the course of a day, a lot of music filters into our brains: TV commercials, random car stereos, ringtones…it can get to be a sonic blur. It takes a lot to break through the din. But for me, Brian Sizensky’s music did just that within the first few minutes of listening.

The opening track, “Nice Tomorrow” starts with some dreamy acoustic picking and straightforward vocals. Pretty soon pure harmonies enter the picture and the song kicks into gear with snappy drumming. It takes a verse or two to start singing along and then you’re playing the track again. The dynamic of the acoustic verses alternating with the full on accompaniment works nicely in the song.

Plain Girl” sticks with the catchy pop formula, but shows us the edgier side of Sizensky’s voice, which is strong and radio-ready. His keen use of harmony and vocal fills like old school do-wops makes this track misleadingly upbeat. It isn’t until the audio news clips and rapid fire commentary is inserted in the middle until you realize not all is rosy.

All I Need” takes me to some of the bands that had 90s radio locked up: Gin Blossoms, Hootie & the Blowfish, and that type. With their perfect balance of vocal harmonies, strong lead vocals, interesting and punchy strumming patterns, and sharp drumming – the music they made appealed to may different audiences. Similary, "All I Need" does the same, and has much of the same balance and appeal. Great acoustic guitar work in the outtro of this track that unfortunately fades out a little too quickly.

Aralyn” combines some smooth 70s pop and 00s male pop vocals, with maybe a little Uncle Kracker’s “Follow Me” guitar lick thrown in for good measure and a pinch of country rock on the side. A catchy full-bodied chorus with a bevy of (or a few multi-tracked) backup singers is a nice contrast to the groove of the verses. A nice little wah guitar break and some bass plucking introduces the bridge and provides a nice little turn around.

Born a Queen” introduces the simple-spoken version of Sizensky's sound. One of the strongest aspects of all of Sizensky’s songs is his ability to build on a song. “Born a Queen” begins with Brian’s simple strumming, unencumbered solo voice; then adds some nice guitar swells in the background, then builds on the vocals with harmonies. It is a nice contrast to the "everything all at once...go to 11!" style so favored in much of today's music. This song has a twangy quality to the music yet is not overly Country. It brings to mind the country-rock sound of the old school Eagles.

I suspect comparisons to other smart pop songwriters like Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson are inevitable here. But on his edgier stuff Brian explores darker territory and introduces a more rock-based sound. His songs are all solid tracks that show his knack for catchy songwriting, insightful lyrics and smart instrumentation. Listen for yourself at