Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Neil Cotterill-Moonshot

May 1, 2007

Neil Cotterill – Moonshot

The Beechfields Record Label

First impressions are important, and my first impression of this album was rather troubling. I was left with two questions: “Why was this album recorded or released to the public?” and “Is the market saturated with CDs by guys that are really good at playing the acoustic guitar and singing mellow songs?”

Whether the market is saturated or not, Neil Cotterill’s Moonshot is just that: another album from another guy who can play acoustic guitar really well and sing mellow songs. That being said, this is a good album – albeit a bit boring in spots. Cotterill can sing and play guitar with the best of them, and this album is easy to listen to at the very least.

So here’s the good. Neil Cotterill has some serious guitar chops—the guy can play. I also think I heard some synths in the middle of “London” which made me happy. I liked “London” all-around, though it’s about 50 seconds too long. It seemed to be Cotterill’s answer to Simon and Garfunkel’s “America.” I know it seems high praise, but “London” is catchy and evokes a certain sort of pleasant déjà vu.

There’s not a “bad” song on this album, but I’ll say it again: it’s boring. I can hear The Shins singing all of these songs. I’m not kidding; lyrically and musically this album could have been written and performed by Chutes too Narrow-era Shins.

In short, if you’re not tired of this genre by now, give this one a listen. If you already own The Shins’ whole discography, you might wait for Cotterill’s sophomore effort.

-Brian Burns

brian@burnsdesign.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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