With his adenoidal singing and enthusiastic if rudimentary acoustic guitar, occasionally adorned with a few canned laptop instrumental sounds, the Brettster comes off as a junior-high imitation/parody of Bright Eyes. “The children don’t remember the color of the sky now/The children don’t remember the ocean is a distance/The children don’t see reality/The children see everything virtually,” the artist sings. “Whoa, whoa, what’s the world coming to/I don’t wanna be just another number/I don’t wanna be a part of the system!” In fact, songs such as “What’s the World Comin To” and the more pop-oriented “Boy Meets Girl Meets Girl” play like a “Spinal Tap” or “Mighty Wind”-level satire of emo earnestness, and I’m not at all convinced that the whole thing isn’t a “Rock, Rot and Rule”-worthy put-on.
If it is a joke, it’s an elaborate one—there are a dozen songs streaming from the two Web pages, and more available for download from CDbaby.com—and it’s nothing short of brilliant. If Wilder is in fact the real deal, well, he’d really be better off playing it as a joke. If you’re motivated enough to investigate, the Brettster claims he’ll be playing for free on the street at Giddings Plaza in Lincoln Square every Saturday and Sunday morning through the end of June—with “autographed copies of his debut album available for $10.”