The eagerly awaited sophomore effort from David Mead is out now and Mine and Yours is a quieter, more personal effort from this versatile singer/songwriter. What's back is his undeniable talent (remarkably mature for his mere 27 years), his intelligent and sensitive lyrics, his flair for writing well-constructed pop songs and his positive attitude. Also still there is Mr. Mead's incredible McCartney-esque voice, which is capable of a most impressive range. Having heard live performances from David Mead, I also can tell you this distinctive voice is real not electronically enhanced.
Let me digress a bit here about David Mead. This former member of Joe, Marc's Brother is hard not to like -- he's talented, funny, and trying so hard to make his well-deserved star turn happen. To get a feel for the man behind the music, check out his diary entries on his website. He's the genuine thing -- a rarity in this biz -- a bona fide "Nice Guy". As such, you might find yourself rooting for his success too.
His first album The Luxury of Time was an amazing debut. I found myself inadvertently recommending it to friends and strangers alike. There were lots of upbeat heavily produced hook-laden pop numbers, including "Robert Bradley's Postcard", "Touch of Mascara", "World of a King" and other tracks that would find an easy home on radio if the world became enlightened.
However, if you are looking for a carbon copy of that first disc, you won't find it here. Mine and Yours is a softer step forward, capturing a transitional time in the artist's life when moving to New York City. It is hip-swaying pop, and you might have to give it more listens to let the hooks out this time. Mead has supplemented his own guitars, bass and keyboard with a nice cadre of musicians here: Shawn Pelton on drums, Danny Weinkauf on bass, John Skibic on electric guitars and producer Adam Schlessinger on keyboards and more.
The title track probably is the most radio-friendly of the 13 songs here, a "cheap serenade" to modern love, its "embrace inside a hand grenade" and "sweet summer lilac romance" that is catchy as it gets. "Girl on the Roof" is a close second, with its catchy "hoo-hooing" leading into a very catchy song about love in the air and well, a girl on the roof.
"What I Want to Do" should appeal to fans of the melodic ballads of Paul McCartney -- sometimes it seems as if David Mead channels Paul. "Elodie" offers up some rhythmic fun, in an anthem to a beautiful star loved from afar, and "Figure of Eight" continues in the McCartney-esque vein, except the chorus nods its musical head to "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".
The workings of Adam Schlessinger's production keeps things sedate, clean and within the parameters of nice clever pop, though when I heard the start of "Standing Here in Front of Me", I thought Fountain of Wayne's Utopia Parkway had managed to work its way back into my CD player. For the most part Schlessinger keeps true to Mead's intentions: his lilting voice and melodies dominating the show, as they should.
The best way to describe Mine And Yours: it is the perfect CD for a rainy Saturday afternoon. Is this the CD that will propel the hard-working David Mead into the public's consciousness? It might be too quiet and savvy for that but who can say? In the meantime, kick back, let the precipitation fall where it may, and put the headphones on for an enjoyable and easy-on-the-ears musical experience.