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Goat

Twisted Heart

(Engine Room; US: 22 Aug 2006; UK: Available as import)

“You’re a little bit rough ‘round the edge”, sings Andy Rosen (a.k.a. Goat) on the title track of his latest effort. Unfortunately, the line does not apply to Twisted Heart as a whole, as there’s nothing even remotely rough about this record. You could maybe make a case for Goat’s voice being less-than-polished, but that still won’t make it distinctive. It’s just a generic, okay voice, drained of every last drop of personality, and it fits the clean, flawless music perfectly. Safe, inoffensive solos come in multiple forms, both guitar (“Twisted Heart”) and piano (“Love & Pain”). Some tracks have horns that sound like they can’t make up their minds: ‘What are we today, blue-eyed soul or Eighties pop?’ Jazz stylings appear out of nowhere (“Find Somebody”, “Valium & Sodapop”) and aren’t entirely unwelcome, but they’re just as mannered as the more “rocking” numbers. Twisted Heart isn’t bad, but it’s pointless, and that’s probably worse. It’s polite music for unadventurous people, offering very little and demanding nothing.

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