The New Song
Townhall / Redeye
This Philly quintet’s follow up to 2001’s Live at the Point is a surprisingly well-crafted collection of lightly jazz-infused classic pop writing, resembling a folksy Sting as much as a less grandfatherly Billy Joel. The multi-instrumentalist band members are educated musicians, and The New Song is a cleverly arranged, superbly performed and immaculately crafted album, a versatile but well-rounded record. In fact, it’s all a bit too perfect for its own good. The album suffers from a lack of individual presence, of humor or power or whatever it is that instills an album with personality and uniqueness. It’s a very orderly, proficient record, but at times it’s hard to discover the actual band hiding beneath all this superb craftsmanship. There’s no question that Townhall is a fine band with a lot of potential, some of it realized on this album. Yet, while The New Song has a lot going for it, it is still, somewhat strangely, an unsatisfying affair.