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Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said the Last Time I Saw You...

(Family; US: 2 Feb 2010; UK: 2 Feb 2010)

Sometimes you just have to hear an album because it has a great title. Wakey!Wakey!‘s album Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said the Last Time I Saw You… is one of those albums. That title has just the right amount of regret and pathos to be intriguing and utterly human; there is nobody on this earth who hasn’t had a list of things they should have said at one point.

As it turns out, the music on the album isn’t half bad either. Mike Grubbs is the driving force behind Wakey!Wakey!, and observant fans might recognize his name as the man behind “Grubbs” on the CW’s One Tree Hill. Perhaps not coincidentally, his first full-length album sounds like a collection of songs that could well make decent background music for a drama aimed at a young demographic.  Almost Everything… is a piano pop-rock album, much in the vein of the Fray with lots of violins and guitars to go around but aimed just outside the top-40 bull’s-eye. 

The opener and title track is a beautiful, propulsive bit of catharsis, while “Dance so Good” is a lovely bit of Billy Joel balladry. For every memorable track, however, another track drags along, lying dead under the weight of its own aspirations. “The Oh Song” tries so hard to be grimy with its fuzz bass and its big drums, but it sounds like a striped polo shirt with a splash of mud; “War Sweater” combats religious zealotry with joylessness and repetition. There’s enough potential here to be excited about Grubbs’ musical future; perhaps it’ll take separation from or the cancellation of the television show he’s so closely identified with to realize it.


Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.

Wakey!Wakey! - Almost Everything... Full Album Stream
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