[11 February 2007]
Baltimore resident Greg Friedman is a singer-songwriter. There isn’t much sense in him trying to be something he’s not. Think of him as a cross between Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, and this album suddenly becomes very appealing. Friedman’s songwriting is strong on the tender “Story Street” and equally solid “The Second Thing”, which brings to mind a band like the Grapes of Wrath. The guitar work is also slightly different, sounding more intricate and meticulous thanks to his years studying classical guitar. “Santa Cruz” is a tad Weezer-ish and poppy but still sticks to the musician’s strong points. “Escalator” has that soft, breezy feeling that winds around a pretty Beatles-tinged melody. There are a few average numbers though, including “Hallpass”, which sounds too forced and resembles Jason Mraz. Generally, the album is very good, including the quirky but appealing “Get the Ghost” and the fine yet somewhat mysterious “Impress You”. Friedman delivers a lot of quality songs on this impressive, thoughtful album, concluding with the wistful piano-fuelled waltz of “Fingers Connected”.