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The Shadowboxers

Red Room

(Rcam; US: 22 Jan 2013; UK: 22 Jan 2013)

Soulful indie pop sounds eerily familiar

Atlanta trio the Shadowboxers play a bouncy and vivacious form of pop that falls somewhere between indie rock and blue-eyed soul. Actually, this description risks making the band sound more interesting than they are—upon listening to these songs, the overwhelming impression is one of familiarity. The musicianship is competent, and the boys bang out the tunes with admirable verve, but there isn’t an extraordinary amount of anything here that hasn’t been heard a thousand times before.


Standout tracks include the rockers “Fixer” and “Bad Guy”, which both wisely emphasize the rock side of the rock-soul equation, while the faux-Dylan acoustic strummer “Love on This Side” is indicative of how things can go wrong when the band’s energy flags. Nothing truly awful here, ultimately, but also not that much to break the Shadowboxers away from the pack.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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