[8 April 2010]
Over the course of the last decade, John Davis has proven his worth as a formidable musician on the Washington, DC punk scene in bands like Q and Not U and Georgie James. However, as Title Tracks, he showcases his chops as a singer/songwriter par excellence. It Was Easy is the one-man-band’s debut, produced by the team of Nick Anderson and John and Chad Clark in early 2009, and features nine originals offset by a pair of unlikely covers. While such cuts as “Black Bubblegum”, “Hello There”, and “Steady Love” wonderfully display Davis’s varied range as a post-punker gone power pop, none touch the majesty of the tunes he chose to interpret on this LP. With Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura guesting, he delivers a sublime rendition of one of Bruce Springsteen’s most overlooked gems—“Tougher Than the Rest” off 1988’s Tunnel of Love— with the utmost grace and aplomb, counterbalanced by a version of the Byrds’ “She Don’t Care About Time” that will take all those jangle-loving indie kids in the Blogosphere straight to school. And, honestly, it would have been really nice to have heard more elements of these two songs interwoven more prominently throughout the trajectory of this otherwise enjoyable album.