A nine-track album Divinity Dropout, released April 2016, is delivered by Canadian-born musician Curtwood Bearsman currently living in Australia.
As a listener, it’s not very often that I listen to albums that are oriented with a singer-acoustic guitar setup, but that’s exactly the kind of sound Divinity Dropout delivers. It’s fully an acoustic set of just Curtwood himself and his acoustic guitar.
The introductory track, “Divinity Dropout – 01 – Intro” showcases Curtwood slaying the strings on his guitar. The second track, “Right Now,” has Curtwood singing in a moderately-fast pace with a bluesy style wondering where you are when he needs you right here and right now. “Don’t Give In” has an alternative rock-esque melody where Curtwood advises you to don’t give in to what the world demands from you.
“Fuck ‘Em,” which is the most played track at the time I am writing this review, is exactly what you’d expect from a fuck you-kind of song: Fast pace, hard strumming, mean, and the vocalist proclaiming his damnation about useless people. “Extra Mile” has more of a darker, contemplative sound that quiets out with harmonics and eventually the sound of thunder and rain. The sound of the storm carries over into the sixth track, “Interlude,” and features mainly more of Curtwood’s awesome guitar strumming.
“Middle Earth” begins with more nature sound effects. It is a quieter and slower song. It’s obvious that the acoustic guitar was recorded slightly different here – at least for one half of the song – but it adds to the atmosphere of what this song is trying to achieve. There’s also an electric guitar solo, which also adds a mellow feeling to the song. “Never Know” picks up the pace with fast and aggressive strums, and Curtwood closes out Divinity Dropout in the outro track with his guitar.
As you can tell, most of these songs have about 30% vocals and 70% guitar. That’s what this album is all about with Curtwood. He can sing and he can write, but the music vividly shines with his guitar skills. He lets his guitar do most of the singing for him. The style Curtwood implements in the songs isn’t just restricted to one element, either – there’s varying elements stemming from the rock genre that includes alternative, punk, blues, and probably many others. Those who are looking for a larger instrumental set might feel “empty” after listening to Divinity Dropout, but those listeners looking to just relax, chill by the fire, and get lost in acoustic guitar solos will be very pleased with what Curtwood Bearsman offers in Divinity Dropout.