American Babies: Flawed Logic

[25 October 2011]

By Bill Clifford

American Babies’ sophomore disc, Flawed Logic, released in April with little fanfare or publicity, is a rootsy slice of Americana. It’s heartland rock tinged with ‘70s-era Laurel Canyon harmonies and melodies. Singer/guitarist Tom Hamilton, formerly of the Philadelphia electro-rock outfit Brothers Past, embraces his alter ego with American Babies, leaning more toward the Gram Parsons/Johnny Cash side of country rock. Opener “Streets Of Brooklyn” begins with a lush strum of an acoustic guitar and builds as a full band and chorus join in. It’s Hamilton’s decree against capitalistic, greedy, Wall Street bankers and corporations, and it gives the CD its title as he sings, “I wish there was a reason / Behind your flawed logic / Or that our money was really yours to burn / ‘Cause there could be a reckoning / Of all your false promises / If we could agree to disagree / About your policies.” 

Hope is found on the bright and cheery ditty, “Dance All Night”, a festive jaunt with a twangy guitar harmony and lovely vocal chorus that reflects on the rush of falling head over heals in love at first site. Booming kick drum and coarse electric guitar articulate inherent sadness on “Jolene”, while the chorus of voices singing along and a jubilant vibraphone belies the “when you’re down, get back up off the ground” mentality. There’s a classic, ‘70s California vibe courtesy of twangy, rock gee-tar on “Blue Skies”, which comes across like fatherly advise to a daughter after a heartbreak. Closer “Great Expectations” is a sensual and evocative acoustic love ballad, laced with resonate, echoing slide guitar. Flawed Logic is an an as yet undiscovered gem full of emotional heft, forlorn grace and a depth of sonic textures to get lost in.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/149976-american-babies-flawed-logic/