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CD Reviews:  Jeffrey Gaines: Toward the Sun

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Jeffrey Gaines might be best known as the singer/songwriter who covered the Peter Gabriel smash “In Your Eyes” as an amazing acoustic version a few years back. But the verdict is in: dude can write his own great songs as well. This fifth studio release from Gaines shows a gritty maturity a la Edwin McCain and Elvis Costello, his raspy voice weaving some pretty melodies to make some of these songs as comfortable as my couch during NFL season. 

“Falling Apart” is the opening track and while it takes a while to get going, it’s still pretty catchy. “Beyond the Beginning” is the kind of song that deserves big-time radio play but probably won’t get it, primarily because Artemis is an AAA (Adult Album Alternative) indie label geared toward singer/songwriters -- not really what’s dominating the airwaves today. Co-producer Mitchell Froom no doubt put his stamp on this song, which has that Elvis Costello/Crowded House flavor -- two artists the legendary Froom is known for working with. The Crowded House feel is even more evident with “In This Lifetime,” a song you might half-expect Neil Finn to start singing.

“Over and Over” has a guitar-rock quality and a big chorus reminiscent of Lenny Kravitz. 
And you might just think you’re listening to Edwin McCain himself on “To be Free,” “Without You” and “Together.” In fact, Edwin fans should go grab this CD right away. “Life of the Living” and “Love Me” also have choruses you can’t help but sing along to. “Come Out Tonight” has a Paul Westerberg feel, somewhat droning yet melodic.

One of the impressive things about Gaines is that he plays a lot of the guitars and bass tracks on this record. It’s hard not to say the man is full of soul -- in fact, some of the bass lines border on brilliant. Taken as a whole, these songs might tend to run into each other, but if you give it a few listens you can hear the emerging talent of Gaines as one of the better songwriters of our time

~Mike Farley : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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