Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#130: Gavin DeGraw - Sweeter (2011)

After falling in love with his début album, 'Chariot' I've given DeGraw chance after chance to amaze me again. While I enjoyed his self titled follow up, this is really the first album that gets back to the Gavin I fell in love with. There's no doubt he's pop music but he provides enough musical depth that it continues to be an enjoyable listen months after it's release. The album features co-writers for the first time on a DeGraw record, such as Ryan Tedder, Butch Walker, and Andrew Frampton.

A very dirty, sweet groove keeps the song moving while DeGraw sings his lungs out. It's really the calling card of his best songs. He crafts such great melodies and a lot of times the music isn't even necessary. It throws in a few cool grooves and force heads to bob. This is the definition of his signature sound to me and while I think DeGraw hasn't done his best work yet, I think he's well on his way. The reason this album was in my regular for rotation for months was because of tracks like this. They're fun, well crafted, and they groove so well.

Not Over You
It got plenty of airplay and recognition and yet it's the worst track on the album. The man knows how to write good music and how to write pop radio music, but the combination just isn't quite there yet. It's not a bad song by any stretch but it goes back to the only big noticeable problem on 'Chariot' - the lyrics lack any kind of depth. Unfortunately the music isn't much better. Usually, Gavin mixes it up enough and doesn't stick on an idea too long, however, this song feels extremely repetitive.

By far the best track on the album, one of his absolute bests. From the amazing intro (reminds me of Rob Thomas' Something to Be) to the bouncy step of the piano it never lets up. Awesome bass lines are like free food. If you didn't get it free, it's still good - but when it's free - it's amazing. The bass digs and drives throughout and really pushes the song over the edge. Of course, the the melody is boss. I can't express enough my admiration towards his melody writing.

All in all, it goes back to lyrics. I tend to forgive crummy lyrics if the music is good. This album is no exception. I like the fact that many of the lyrics are very open and generic, however, it's the times that he's a little more specific that I'm truly locked in. On the counter point, 'Candy' is lyrical fluff at it's best. It's nothing special but it's one of my favorite tracks on the album. He dances on the lyrical line throughout the album and despite the occasional misstep onto the wrong side - it's a very enjoyable listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment