A Year to Demonstrate
A Year to Demonstrate is pretty much what you’d expect it to be: Norah Jones-ish coffee house jazz. At its best, the group waxes close to the gentle male/female vocals of The Innocence Mission. But the innocuous adult alternative jazz phrasings of the music leave an unmemorable aftertaste. For whatever reason, singer Noah Harris tempers his light romantic musings with uncharacteristically heavy dissections of crime, fear and gunfire. It may not work perfectly within the flow of album, but subject matter like this is somewhat better suited to Harris’s vocal style, which borrows almost exclusively from the melodramatic Rufus Wainwright and the wailing Thom Yorke. These starker, bleaker moments are preferable to the overly maudlin sentiments that pepper the rest of the lyrics. Fans of the easy-going Starbucks vibe might be turned off by such sentiments, but for everyone else, they’re the only reason to pay attention to this disc.