Music On Plastic


Here’s a surprise from Birmingham’s Wayne, a remarkable debut album that pulls together a startling collection of country-influenced rock, epic pop, and swaying ballads. Taking its cue from the second wave of new British guitar bands, Wayne sound like an Americanized Coldplay, only better, equally tender and comforting but with stronger country leanings and better lyrics.

There are several fine moments on here, and only a few forgettable ones. “Be This Way” is brilliantly catchy and “Slow Down” is a perfect first song on the album, moody but gently swaying and inviting. Heavily crafted, this is a carefully thought-out album for sure, and the soundtrack to Wayne’s constant struggle for the perfect rock song.

Perfectionism has its price, though, and there are little here that sounds spontaneous or refreshingly accidental. However, Wayne avoid sounding forced or distanced, something vocalist Rodney Reaves surely must be held responsible for. He is the band’s sole songwriter and the guy whose middle name is Wayne, and his writing is honest and accomplished and the band’s strongest feature.

Plus, the “hidden track” is actually something as rare as not a waste of space, being a magnificent, stadium-sized version of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” that proves that Wayne have their eyes set on a different league altogether. No need to worry, they’ll perform there soon enough. For now, you’ll have this.

TVT Records: http://www.TVTrecords.com

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