Hamburg resident Dirk Darmstaedter offers up his 16th album, a batch of largely American-influenced pop songs that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on FM radio in the mid-to-late ‘70s. Pieces such as “The Last Troubadour” and “Fred Astaire” are among the more remarkable numbers, calling to mind both classic Todd Rundgren records and Glen Campbell’s recent work. Darmstaedter’s workmanlike approach means that the quality remains consistent—there’s nothing embarrassingly bad here nor is there anything especially noteworthy. Instead, Appearances, a decent study in the songwriting craft, proves a reasonably pleasant way to spend 43 minutes, but little more.
// Notes from the Road
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