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4 Way Street, Pretzel Park (Sanctuary)
Coming across as Crosby, Stills, and Nash meets the Thorns, 4 Way Street's Pretzel Park showcases the talents of four lesser-known Philadelphia singer-songwriters under one banner, and what could have been a massively disparate and disjointed record is actually quite the opposite. The distinct vocal styles of members Ben Arnold, bassist Scott Bricklin and guitarists Jim Boggia and Joseph Parsons meld together in some sumptuous four-part harmonies on tracks like "Maze" and the wonderful "Everywhere You Go". Perhaps Arnold's soulful voice is the pick of the vocals, although Boggia's crystal clear pop tone is almost as appealing, but it's the quality and variety of the material that is most striking here. The groovy "Several Thousand" is a variation on the group's standard acoustic rock songs, and "Love and Hope" is a nicely delivered delicate ballad, but it's the classic folk-pop opener "Change Gonna Come" which is the stand-out tune. One or two tracks aside, Pretzel Park is drenched in glorious, laid-back, acoustic rock vibes to make it a timeless, modern-day triumph.