Trouble, the second effort from rising singing and songwriting guitarist Scott McKeon, starts out in a promising enough way. The initial noises that greet a listener are burbles of static and guitar dissonance. These noises introduce a catchy song entitled “The Girl”; thereafter, it becomes apparent that the album could have easily had What Maroon 5 Have Wrought appended to its title. Although it failed to elevate itself beyond background music for this listener, Trouble holds its share of merits for the pop-rock lovers. When McKeon dips into the R&B end of the pop pool, the results—such as “Talk to Me”—are wholly satisfying. Alas, such smoother touches only make a rare appearance.
Trouble is bookended by two good songs (“The Girl”, with its aforementioned buzz bursts, and “Home”, which is purely instrumental and therefore free of any Adam Levine vocal evocations), but there is little in between that grasps attention. McKeon’s aim for Trouble was to shift his music from a more riff-based setting to an environment where proper songs could develop. This is all well and good, but McKeon could have packed a few more tricks for the conversion. If McKeon brought a little more experimentation into the mix and spent a bit longer on his R&B convictions, he could certainly achieve something decent, or at least less middling.