Philip Bradatsch is the singer with Dinosaur Truckers yet neither of those names, I would imagine, means a lot to most of you but that very band have garnered a fair amount of support in Europe and “When I’m Cruel” – the subject of these words – is the solo album from Mr. Bradatsch.
“When I’m Cruel” is an eloquent album very much in in the style of a literate singer songwriters steeped in the traditions of folk music. The songs, however, aren’t just invocations of times past as soul searching seems far more of a motivation for Philip Bradatsch’s words with “Feels Like Rain” and “This Time Around” illustrating the ease with which he can capture emotion. Being a banjo player, there are also a couple of instrumentals – “Shippensberg”, in particular – that highlight the fact that his virtuosity is not limited to his pen.
Given the nature of the songs, it is perhaps unsurprising that this whole album runs at a considered pace with nothing ever getting those feet a tapping. That said, we all need a soundtrack for those times spent in reflection and this is an album to fill that role.