I have always enjoyed thoughtful, ballsy acoustic music. However, I never quite cared for artists like James Taylor and that ilk. I like singers and I like songwriters, but I don’t like the saccharine or overly sentimental singer/songwriter. I guess for that reason, I enjoyed this album by Eagan. Although the tracks consist of him and his acoustic guitar (there is a bass player, but it is low in the mix), the songs carry emotion and power. His voice is reminiscent of Karl Hendricks, and his playing seems more folk style instead of a blues strumming.

The songs themselves are populated with characters dealing with relationships at various stages of dissolution. In fact, the titles of many tracks indicate the fading and transitory nature of relationships: “Grey Wallpaper,” “Clouds Fading,” “Just Another Shadow,” “Leaving Song.” Perhaps in spite of this, much of the music remains upbeat and fast. There are no forays into Red House Painter territory. There is no time to wallow in self-pity. For that reason, the songs resemble some of Lou Reed’s work — that is, the straightforward, no nonsense documentation of lives in disarray. I found several tracks particularly compelling in this regard, namely the aforementioned “Clouds Fading” and “Emily.” This is a sound debut from a developing singer.

Slane Records, P.O. Box 870, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-0870

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