At times Phil Angotti can be a great power pop artist, but for the opening number on his new album he channels Bob Dylan for “East Side Soul #27”. The same terrain is covered with the equally appealing “95th St. Bridge Song”. At other times, his Americana shuffle a la Blue Rodeo or Wilco on “Psychedelic Sunday” is quite pretty and has the desired effect. Angotti returns to what are his strengths with “Avenue L”, a soft, quasi-orchestral number. Far better is the poppy, breezy “If I Catch You”, which strolls along effortlessly. Some songs don’t work or mess the mark completely, especially the rambling messy and unfocused “Nervous Girls” that has an arrangement that sounds like it was thrown together at the last minute. Generally, Angotti shines more often than flops with solid, Westerberg-ian nuggets like “Mr. Baroo”, which also has some Beatles accents to it. More Beatles flavors are easily audible with the short, choppy but infectious “Tike”. However, the preachy “Help Save Rock ‘N Roll Music” is a bit cheesy throughout.
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// Notes from the Road
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