Goddamned is a stripped down record filled with Brannan's silky smooth voice and acoustic guitar (not to mention the strings that pop up periodically). It's a brutally honest, instantly relatable album full of some amazing songs about love, heartbreak, living as a gay man, dating, and sex. It's probably one of the best albums by a gay artist that I have ever heard. Jay Brannan puts feelings that we've all felt one time or another into his songs and it makes it almost like he is singing about you. There are universal songs here that anyone, gay or straight, can relate to.
It's a flawless record. Not a bad song among the 11 tracks. Jay Brannan's lyrics are just amazing. In Bowlegged and Starving he sings, "I have my laptop for pleasure and my guitar for pain..." there is just something about the way he sings that line that just hits home.
One of the highlights of the album is the title track. It's about as epic as possible for an acoustic folk album. It's a song about the state of the world and its religions. It is the kind of song you just want to close your eyes and absorb. Listening to this song isn't enough. You need to feel it. He sings, "Mary and Muhammad are screaming through the clouds for you to lay your goddamned arms down, rip your bigot roots from the earth and salt the goddamned ground." To call it an intense song is a mild understatement. He sings it with such passion you can't help but be affected by it.
With Goddamned, Brannan has given us a pure album untouched by corporate influence and it is a dream album. It's an album that I have not been able to stop listening to since I received it. Powerhouse artists like Alanis Morrisette and Coldplay cannot come close to making an album like this. This is an album Rufus Wainwright wishes he could have put out.