Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Joe McCready-Simple Songs

January 1, 2007

joemccreadyBand Name: Joe McCready

Album Name: Simple Songs

Best Element: Smooth, casual, easy melodies

Genre: Acoustic Pop

Website: http://www.joemccreadymusic.com

Label Name: N/a

Band E-mail: joemccre@joemccready.com

Joe McCready’s Simple Songs came with a hand-written letter talking about the deterioration of Christian music and the need for innovation in how it is made, marketed, and considered. As this is one of my primary causes, McCready had my attention before I even popped his CD in my player. My attention wasn’t lost as I heard his music, either, as Simple Songs is a strong start for any acoustic artist, Christian or not.

Joe McCready falls in the space between Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson – more pep than the chilled-out surfitudes of Johnson, but not as hill country hip-hop as Mraz. The vocals owe a debt to Mraz, as their rich melodies and clipped rhythms seemed snagged out of Waiting for My Rocket to Come, while the guitars are much smoother and prettier than would be expected to back up such a rhythmic approach to songwriting. The lazy tempos that characterize much of this album’s acoustic tales are a tribute to Johnson.

But as with all good artists, the product is more than the sum of its parts. The songs are genuinely catchy and enjoyable, from the swaggering pop of “Buttercup” and “Gets Around” to the layers of instruments in “In a Moment’s Notice” to the sweet “Never Lost.” The album does get a bit long at 17 songs, but the melodies which McCready delivers make it a worthwhile listen. You may not be able to remember which song was which, but you’ll definitely remember humming along without knowing the words because the melodies are so casual and bubbly.

Those who aren’t a fan of this style of music in total will not enjoy McCready, but if you’re a fan of acoustic artists you will like this. This is a good start for a promising artist – if he continues to develop his talent, as well as stick to his lyrical guns as a mixture of Christian and secular issues, he could be a very exciting force in the music industry.

-Stephen Carradini

independentclauses@hotmail.com

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

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