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John P. Strohm

Everyday Life

(Superphonic; US: 10 Jul 2007; UK: Available as import)

Lukewarm country rock

It’s been eight years since ex-Blake Baby John P. Strohm cut a record, but to judge from Everyday Life, it might have been more like 18.  This new CD plies the same soft, countrified, alternarock territories as early 1990s mainstays like Buffalo Tom and solo Westerberg, but without the eccentricity.  There’s a certain warmth and skill at work here, in the easy slide guitar, and soft, rough-edged vocals, but how many more earnest about driving do we really need?  The rocking songs have a bit more edge to them—raucous “Sha La” and the title cut might easily be stompers in a live setting.  But mostly, these songs fade the minute they finish.  Strohm’s dead-end, small-town ballad finds the main character (not him,he’s a lawyer) sweeping the video store floor and “Waiting for the World to End.”  Me, I’m just waiting for the album to be over.

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