By: Liz Levine
Having just released his second album of solo work since the end of former band Del Amitri, Justin Currie has taken up a spot in the adult contemporary genre. He pens and delivers easily swallowed, mildly twangy pop-rock with a world-weary outlook and throaty rasp. He might be wizened by experience, or just entirely bitter, but lyrically the songs take a step above their standard pop structures. Even his bio is a mouthful, with a claim to “cramming too many words into odd amounts of bars,” as evidenced notably in “No, Surrender.” A repetitive rant, the song establishes a nice ear to production technique and mood, though the words sound more like a speech with not enough attention to poetic flow. “In My Heart, The War Goes On” edges toward alt-country with an upbeat tone, eventually slipping into a very Wallflowers sound, which is quite the throwback. The guitar work and well-placed harmonies are nice, even though the song itself gets cheesy rather than sustaining its initial promise. Currie’s other songs benefit from attention to production and detail but are a bit weighed down by an air of melancholy that somehow makes the tracks feel languid even when they’re rockin’. The above descriptions taken in whole amount to an odd overall product, in that thoughtful considerations and intriguing characteristics become only so-so songs. Fans of Currie, though, are likely to enjoy this new home that he’s found.