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The Wind Up Radio Sessions show they're at their best when they're easygoing

July 21, 2010

The Wind Up Radio Sessions is a band, and their album is titled Red Brick House. This took me a while to wrap my head around. If you like the easygoing beach vibe of old Jack Johnson tunes, but wish that there had been more substance to the arrangements, The Wind Up Radio Sessions is your band. Their acoustic pop tunes feature drums and other instruments to fill out the sound, but not in a too-complex way. When they’re at their best (“Let Me Go,” “Registration”), they crank out loose, relaxed songs with the chill vibe of Johnson but more guts; perhaps like a peppier Ben Harper or a seriously chillaxin’ early-era Switchfoot.

When their songs lose their looseness and develop a formality, they lose some of their charm. “Me and My Doe,” In the Morning” and “Oh Well” aren’t bad songs, but they have a bit of a stilted feel. The Wind Up Radio Sessions don’t need to pour their vibe into constricting song structures to make great songs, and that’s why “Let Me Go” and “Pigeons” have such a charming and sunshiny vibe. They just roll with how the songs come, and that produces magic.

They don’t all fall on the extremes of the stilted/easy-going spectrum; there are tunes in the middle that work to varying degrees. But it’s easiest to enjoy the Wind Up Radio Sessions when they’re taking it easy. And that’s good for everyone. Pre-beach party chillaxin’ music, or lazy summer day porch music; and seriously, who couldn’t use more of that in their life?

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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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