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Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

Good Light

(Magnolia Music; US: 26 Feb 2013; UK: Import)

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors blend pop-rock and Americana with a smooth grace that makes them a perfect fit for TV soundtracking (they’ve been featured on Parenthood and mainstream radio). New album Good Light could have been their breakthrough moment, but it falls a little flat. The elements are there: tight band, good songwriting, nice harmonies. Unfortunately the disc lacks propulsion, especially when the uptempo “Nothing Like a Woman” is just silly. “Can’t Take it With You” covers musical ground the band’s already gone over repeatedly. “Tennessee” sounds like its title, but drags under its cliched topic. Fortunately other cuts fare better on this oddly backloaded recording, including “A Place to Lay My Head” and “What Would I Do Without You”, which would make a great solo acoustic number. Holcomb and his band stay in that dangerous area where they’re one good lyric and one lucky break away from soundtracking next season’s American Idol, but currently spinning their wheels too much to get anywhere. They’re still worth following, but Good Light isn’t the album it should have been.

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Justin Cober-Lake lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, kids, and dog. His writing has appeared in a number of places, including Stylus, Paste, Chord, and Trouser Press. His work made its first appearance on CD with the release of Todd Goodman's first symphony, Fields of Crimson. He's recently co-founded the literary fly-fishing journal Rise Forms.


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