On their last CD, the Close sounded like a band anxious to be discovered, but on Sun, Burn, they sound a little like one that hasn’t been. The quintet still has a good sense of songwriting, but they’ve lost their urgency. None of the songs really miss, but they make up a 34-minute album that feels short of ideas, which is a problem. The disc maintains a consistent, somewhat down mood, but it needs some variance to stay engaging. At times, as on “Cookie Crook”, the Close poise to take off (here the drums come closest to freedom), but they don’t. It’s a frustating listen, because this is a talented set of musicians; if I hadn’t expected more, I probably wouldn’t have been as bothered with this release. But it’s not simply about expectations. It’s about the fact that you can hear them approach something good and then forget to touch it. Maybe next time those writing and performing skills will actually pay off.
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// Notes from the Road
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