Friday, December 19, 2014


Sound Check

10/2/2013

cd Tim StopTim Stop

“Across the Atlantic”

Independent

Stop’s vocals are — and there’s no way to say this without making it sound backhanded — somewhere between your standard Adult Contemporary sound and a poor man’s John Mayer. More specifically, there is nothing particularly offensive about his delivery or style choices, but there is nothing all that revolutionary either. For what “Across the Atlantic” is, Stop does it very well: He’s a strong singer and solid songwriter, and, at times (“Maria,” for example), he’s rather charming. But the album, frankly, is a little bland. It doesn’t feel like the kind of album that was yearning to be written or straining to get out of his head and into the recording studio. Instead, “Across the Atlantic” feels a little too carefully constructed, like it was written with a Starbucks lobby in mind. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that — lobbies will always need music — but Stop seems capable of more. CV

 

DM Art Center

cd Joan JettJoan Jett

“Unvarnished”

Blackheart Records

Time has mellowed Joan Jett. It certainly hasn’t made her into a wilting flower, but “Unvarnished” lacks much of the punkish, snarling vitriol that made tracks like “Do You Wanna Touch Me?” and “I Love Rock N Roll” so iconic. However, it can be happily reported that not much else about Jett’s schtick has changed. “Unvarnished” is still full of crunchy, three-chord blues riffs, and Jett’s white Melody Maker sounds as good as it ever did. But while it’s great to see Jett back with new music after seven years, and the album is probably going to please Jett fans, there’s not another hit here. The closest the album has to a lasting, memorable contribution to Jett’s legacy is “TMI,” which is Jett’s game attempt at writing a rock anthem about the petty annoyances of Twitter. So, you know. Your mileage may vary. CV

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