Back In School
Neil Brewer is gifted, but Back In School hardly seems to be the best use of his abilities. All of these songs are whimsical and nostalgic of his childhood in Corydon, Ind., but every note seems rudimentary and juvenile. I’m sure this album would play well to elementary school ears, but I can’t imagine anyone over the age of 10 responding to most of these songs. Brewer’s sincerity seems genuine and truthful, just not terribly accessible for anyone on this side of puberty. “Everybody’s Somebody Else” seems to be the only point on the album that presents a mature perspective on youth, but “Bus Stop Blues” and “Dodgeball” sound like they were written for a “Sesame Street”/“A Prairie Home Companion” hybrid album.