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"Nearly impossible to pigeonhole, this cleverly poignant CD of uber-original songs might be best described as 21st century existential folk rock. The apparent result of what happens when you put a fiercely intelligent, playful, creative, optimistic, vulnerable and honest human life form in a dreary windowless cubicle for 40 hours a week, add a 5-piece folk rock band, and mix with equal parts of angst, love, despair, hope, irony, humor and confusion, this lyrically lush smorgasbord of crazy-smart tone-poetic thought experiments continues to intrigue after many listenings. If you like quirky, unpredictable songs with modern themes that yield surprises with each play, get this." -review of "Be Brave Bold Robot" self titled LP, by by Michael Doughton for RetailRadio.biz
“The evening’s middle act was a nice change of pace, a folk-rock band from Sacramento called Be Brave Bold Robot. Dean Haakenson writes some pretty good guitar-based songs and fills them up with sophisticated, literate lyrics. Some songs had fresh and complicated takes on the usual relationship themes; others… well, put it this way: One song starts with a guy’s revelation that if he uses the toilet sitting down all the time, he doesn’t have to clean the bathroom as often. I think it was a love song in the end, but this first part got discussed in a whole lot of detail. It was pretty funny.”
“Not many bands sport a badge of longevity inching toward eight years, but plenty of musicians can include their names in the pages of Be Brave Bold Robot’s local history. With roughly 23 former players fondly dubbed “Forever Members,” BBBR is a staple in the folk scene for good reason. If mad scientist, Dean Haakenson, hears you can play an instrument and likes you as a person, you can write your way into his project…forever. My night with Be Brave Bold Robot did not begin with an unsettling ride to West Sacramento in Haakenson’s Technicolor Volkswagen Bug, but a few points of interest are worth a mention prior to him offering a lift in his shrunken, two-seater Partridge Family bus of a VW. As follows: I snuck into an empty warehouse along with the band and a photographer for a photo shoot. Cut my hand lifting a giant disco ball. There was a potato sack race. Haakenson sweated through two shirts. No one discovered us. No one was handcuffed or fined for trespassing. No vandal”
“The band fuses folk rock with spoken-wordlike storytelling, epic arrangements and indie-choral tendencies, one-upping the casual singer-songwriter fare.”
“Your Flesh shall be a Great Poem Be Brave Bold Robot-which generally features a rotating lineup--anchors its sound on non-rock rhythms with drums and Haakenson’s ever-present acoustic guitar. In that way, the band resembles a reggae version of the Counting Crows--especially on “Keep the Women Happy,” a song it recently performed live at the 2006 Sammies. The surprises come when Haakenson incorporates unexpected instrumentation, such as the vibes on “Those Things” (recorded live in KDVS’ Studio A and available at www.bebraveboldrobot.org). As Haakenson put it, “I like discordancy amidst the pretty.” In another way, Haakenson evokes Mike Doughty when he raps through “The $1000 Grape Drive By,” a track that could be on Soul Coughing’s Ruby Vroom. It’s the rapid-fire lyrical pattern over rock with a dash of hip-hop that begs the comparison. Haakenson’s lyrics, like those on “Gamma Rays,” sometimes border on the silly: “She don’t believe in spankings ... b”
“Best new singer-songwriter Dean Haakenson of Be Brave Bold Robot www.bebraveboldrobot.org. Dearest Dean, Soulful and sublime songwriter, you captured my heart during your band’s Sammies Showcase performance at Marilyn’s, making me an instant convert to your religion of rock! Oh, the passion! Oh, the unbridled energy and heartfelt angst! Where have you been? Only playing in public a year, you say? Impossible. Subsequent listening to your music proved addictive, as your lyrics revealed the depth of an old soul belying your years. I want more, more, more! Not too old to be a groupie, Amy Yannello”