Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: Graham Colton “Pacific Coast Eyes”

I was very eager to hear this new one from Graham Colton, who blew me away with his 2007 effort “Here Right Now” (review here). Colton is a pop rock artist from Oklahoma with an excellent track record harking back to his early days fronting The Graham Colton Band. After several EPs, he’s back with his second full-length solo release, “Pacific Coast Eyes”. Most people would recognize Colton through his American Idol connections – he toured with and dated Kelly Clarkson and provided the exit song for the show (“Best Days”).

“Waiting For Love” is classic Colton, offering a radio friendly hook and bright production that just makes you feel all warm and pleasant inside. “1981” is just fantastic – a catchy upbeat rocker that is beautifully sung, with lyrics that stir nostalgic emotions. “Graceland” is a tender folksy duet, and even better is the contemplative piano-driven piece, “Twenty Something”. He continues tickling the ivories on the feel good love song “Everything You Are”. The album then plummets into mediocrity, but closes fairly strong with an affable ballad called “A Day Too Late”.

Among the swings and misses is the sleepy opener, “Love Comes Back Around”. And with its near spoken-word verses and breezy vibe, “Pacific Coast Eyes” strives too hard to be like Train, and it just doesn’t work for me. Many others seem to like it, though, and it is the first single. And despite excellent production and wonderful singing, most of the other tracks are just too generic to get excited about. All things considered, “Pacific Coast Eyes” is another fine feather in Colton’s cap, but not the one people are going to remember the most. Recommended if you like Matt Nathanson, Train, or Ingram Hill.

iPOD-worthy: 2, 4, 6, 7, 12

Graham ColtonOfficial site.

Check out the video for the title track:

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