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Troy Campbell, American Breakdown (Loudhouse)
Troy Campbell, the former lead singer of Loose Diamonds, along with some help from noted producer and musician Gurf Morlix, has put together a fine collection of singer-songwriter tunes with strong harmonies. From the opening "Sad Truth", which brings to mind the likes of Kevin Welch or Kieran Kane, Campbell knows a good melody instantly. Campbell brings an enjoyable weary tone to "World of Tears", resembling Rodney Crowell's best work. Blending thoughtful lyrics with some simple guitar playing, Campbell gives new life to the typical tales of heading out of town on "Sorrytown" and the beautiful "The World Keeps on Ending". "Rosabelle" is a departure, starting off with a roots rock intro that you know will build into something toe-tapping and memorable. "Sleeping Without You" moves into a roots pop arrangement driven by drummer Jason White. The slow dance waltz routine on "Blind" misses the mark though early. It redeems itself later thankfully. "Pacific" is a somber and melancholic structure that recalls Blue Rodeo or Chris Isaak. Overall, this is a fine bit of music from another under-appreciated Austin based musician.