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Marty Lloyd, Marigold (Razor & Tie)
Marty Lloyd was part of the Freddy Jones Band, a jam band that had opened for Dave Matthews Band and Blues Traveler. Now venturing out on his own and moving to sunny California, Lloyd has crafted a polished yet original piece of work that is mix of Bryan Adams's vocals in front of the music of bands like the Rembrandts and John Mayer on "Justified". It's the rootsy pop sound that is very strong without coming off as mass-produced. Influenced by the Stones and Dylan along with others, Lloyd continues with "American Dream", a slow-builder in which the listener will see Tom Petty throughout. Fans of Neil Finn will enjoy the bouncy pop nature of "We'll Get By", especially Lloyd's manner of finishing off each lyric. "I'm not a saint about to fall, maybe the only way out of here is written on the wall", he sings over sweet harmonies and some catchy riffs. "Where We Started From" is a similar effort.
"Sinkin' Like a Stone" is the highlight of the record, again a Finn-ish track that fits Lloyd to a tee. The only slight flaw is the bland back-beat that sounds pre-packaged. The song is also quite hypnotic, especially its lullaby-like last minute. "Blackbird" doesn't fare quite as well as Lloyd gives more of an Americana flavor to the track as he talks about the train still rolling. "Josephine" has the singer on his solid sonic footing, something that he seems to shine on time and time again. Unfortunately, "Fall from Grace" comes off as being too forced and here Lloyd recalls Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics. Fortunately, he atones on the title track -- a mid-tempo and infectious tune recalling Springsteen in certain instances. This is an extremely strong album that singer-songwriters should use as a blue print.