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David Brookings Aims to be Silicon Valley’s Classic Pop King on New Self-Titled Album

In Music
LOOKING SHARP: David Brookings and his band, The Average Lookings, deliver a blast of classic pop songwriting on their 
latest, self-titled album.

LOOKING SHARP: David Brookings and his band, The Average Lookings, deliver a blast of classic pop songwriting on their latest, self-titled album.

“You’ll never be a winner unless you lose for quite a while,” David Brookings sings on “The Optimist,” the third track on his band’s new self-titled album.

The song opens on a stompy, minor-key verse, and in just over 30 seconds bursts into its sunny, horn drenched chorus, like a flower blossoming in time lapse. It’s a cool move, which recalls The Turtles’ classic “Happy Together.”

The singer-songwriter’s seventh album, David Brookings & the Average Lookings is definitely an optimistic-sounding record. This 11-song set is packed with gleeful melodies, playful lyrics and some quite nimble chord changes—the riff in “The Basement Room” is a certified ripper—and Brookings proves himself a strong, confident songwriter and sculptor of melody.

There are times when it feels as if he is afraid to get his hands dirty, though this is likely by design. Over the course of the album, Brookings and his new backing band demonstrate a deep love for what might be most accurately described as “classic pop.”

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“I think a lot of people love classic rock,” Brookings says, “but I go almost a little earlier than most people. You don’t hear anybody these days talking about Buddy Holly or the Everly Brothers.”

With only a few songs on the album stretching beyond the four-minute mark, Brookings demonstrates an intuitive understanding of the pop rock songwriting of yore—replete with guitar solos, playful shouts and a Derek & the Dominos namedrop.

“The old stuff is better,” the singer says. If you do agree with Brookings, then his latest effort may be exactly what you’ve been looking for: classic pop songwriting, fun melodies and a band that sounds as tight as an English Mod suit.

Brookings will be celebrating the completion of his new album with a record release party at Willow Den, on June 10.

David Brookings
Jun 10, 9pm, Free
Willow Den, San Jose

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