The title is very appropriate. Midnight Sessions comes off, to a certain extent, like the musical late night musings of an inward looking artist who has discovered a way to evocatively set those moods to music. There’s a first class pop music sensibility permeating these songs thanks to the talent of Brian Hutson and producer Joe Vulpis’ influence.
It is not the sort of pop approach that latches onto to the lowest common denominator. Instead, there’s a clear aspiration to class on the release that manifests itself on each of the EP’s five cuts and never sounds like any sort of put on. Hutson is in full control of his material and moves through these songs with considered confidence that never wavers. The material has broad-based appeal and will resonate with many listeners. It also comes off as a strongly personal statement from a singer and performer unafraid to show his vulnerability to the audience. It makes for an audacious EP debut.
The audaciousness doesn’t immediately announce itself. It comes through in brief flashes like the ambient sound effects swooshing “Break My Heart” into existence. Naysayers, based on the title alone, might be expecting some slight bubblegum pop confection and, instead, are rewarded with the experience of hearing a singer capable of making the commonplace sing. There are some extremely well designed guitar passages threading through the composition and they are audibly able to take advantage of the moment.
There’s a lighter air, both in the words and music, on “Kiss Me Feel It”, but it’s also just the same performing intensity is turned to more vulnerable ends. His run of vulnerability continues with the song “One Night Stand”. It’s far and away the EP’s most reflective moment while still sharing the same ear for well-timed crescendos.
“Behind the Wall” has a rockier feel than the other tracks and the rhythm section provides a fat bottom end for the upper register instruments to dance over. It’s truly the most committed singing performance that Hutson musters up for Midnight Sessions, but he isn’t through yet. “Keep the Faith Alive” implies religious subject matter, but if anything, it’s about the potential roiling in the depths of even the most damaged human soul. It’s a wide variety of sounds and never exhausts itself. Instead, Brian Hutson sings like a man with immense talents and a passionate need to let loose with a belated music career. It brings us similarities with earlier tunes.
Midnight Sessions is a sturdy reminder of what a committed performer can do, whatever it takes when they are engaged in making a first-class release. This is just good for our times but good for all time. These songs will likely translate well over to a live setting and there’s no question of guest singers he might draft into the picture.