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Album Review: When My Heart Goes Pop by Brand - O

posted Aug 3, 2011, 8:04 PM by Sarah Brehm   [ updated Sep 19, 2011, 7:51 PM ]

About three years ago, Brandon “Brand – O” Milsaps started writing music for the fun of it. “I got bored, so I went with it,” says Brand – O who lists a variety of influences including Emery, Manafest, Back Eyed Peas, Spoken Nerd, and Eddie Money. “I just want to share music with everyone,” says Brand – O. “Sure making money off of it is amazing. But seeing people’s smiles when I perform gives me so much more happiness.” The.Brand - O CD Release Party took place on July 30 to celebrate the release of When My Heart Goes Pop.


Track list:

1. When My Heart Goes Pop

2. Radio ft. Hiro

3. Zombie Apocalypse

4. Breathing Room ft. Tyler Melashenko

5. Heart Breaker ft. Hiro

6. Waste of Your Time ft. Johnny Hopscotch & Spoken Nerd

7. The Village ft. Lauren Koch

8. Lights Out ft. Casey Whitaker

9. Brandiggity

                                                        10. Baby Alaska ft. Joey Whited

                                                        11. I Dunno

                                                        12. Hunga hunga Hunga


The title track, “When My Heart Goes Pop” has a high-energy beat and a catchy chorus that is easy to sing along to. “I usually end up bruising myself during this song every time I perform,” says Brand – O. “I feel like when I perform this song it shows all of my emotions in less than four minutes. It’s so dramatic. Flopping around on stage like you’re dying definitely relieves stress.”


“Radio ft. Hiro” is one of my favorite tracks on this album. It leans heavily toward rap/rock that reminds me of Manafest and KJ-52. With a sick beat, and a challenge to “get as loud as you can” it’s a great song to dance to. Seriously, this could be played on any pop radio station or at any dance club.  


“Zombie Apocalypse” has a quirky beat that for some reason reminds me of cheesy horror movies—you know, the ones that are supposed to be scary, but are actually hilarious. But there was one part that really struck me: “Nobody wants to be like me, so I take a little nibble… Feel the poison invade your blood stream. You’re just like me. You’re just like me. Now you want everybody to be just like me. Oh the peer pressure is so lovely.” It made me wonder if this song was more than zombies—that it had a deeper meaning about how people desire to be like everyone else, to fear stepping out and being different. And when that desire consumes us, we’re nothing more than zombies. Or maybe it’s just a funky song about zombies. Either way, this would make a killer music video.


“Breathing Room ft. Tyler Melashenko” and “Heart Breaker ft. Hiro” are slower, quieter songs that discuss the emotional struggles of love and relationships.

“Waste of Your Time ft. Johnny Hopscotch & Spoken Nerd” takes some time to build and for the most part isn’t anything special, however there’s some amusing lyrics. But, everyone should listen to this song specifically for Johnny Hopscotch and Spoken Nerd. These two have a phenomenal way of stringing lyrics together.


“The Village ft. Lauren Koch” has a dark, ethereal feel. Lauren Koch’s gorgeous vocals remind me of pop super star Rhianna.


My second favorite track on this album is “Lights Out ft. Casey Whitaker.” This one has a rockin’ beat that is impossible not to like. When Brand – O performs this live at The Warehouse, I fully expect Casey Whitaker (Owner of The Warehouse and former frontman to the band Within) to jump on stage and sing the chorus.


“Brandiggity” showcases Brand – O’s ability to rap. “No one’s paying attention. It’s all you. Be a little bit psycho, creative. Raise the bar a little bit higher” perfectly describes Brand – O. He creates off-the-wall music and amusing lyrics to put a smile on someone’s face.


“Baby Alaska ft. Joey Whited” is Brand – O’s favorite track on his album. “Being in love is rough,” says Brand – O. “Especially when you no longer want to be a part of it, but your heart still wants to be with that person. This song captures what I have struggled with in the past four months: ‘When I’m with you, I feel alone.’”


“I Dunno” is slow song that just questions the world around us. Lyrically this song is the heaviest: “Shoot my brother and rape my girl, man ain’t this a beautiful world? Man, I dunno.” While the song is powerful as it interlaces Brand – O’s vocals and newscasters reporting on the things that make you cringe and cry. However, I’m not sure the beat quite matches the dark, questioning feeling of the lyrics.


When My Heart Goes Pop ends with the track “Hunga hunga Hunga” which is about going on a date at a restaurant and the awkwardness of eating in front of your date. “Nervously anticipate fork in the mouth,” sings Brand – O. This one would also be a fun music video.


Overall I recommend Brand – O’s debut album, When My Heart Goes Pop. It has some great tracks that are perfect for impromptu dance parties (I might be dancing around my room right now!).


Words by: Sarah Brehm
Photos by: Sarah Brehm and Rick Brehm


All images from Brand - O's CD release party. July 30, 2011