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Rogue Wave: Out Of The Shadow

 
Snuggle up to your speakers and get comfy. Rogue Wave's excellent debut, Out Of The Shadow, will have you dreamily reaching for a pillow, and perhaps a loved one, so as to better enjoy your trip toward pop music paradise. This batch of mostly acoustic tunes, the blissful stomp of "Endless Shovel" being the notable exception, alternately soothes you sweetly towards sleep, then pleasantly pokes you back awake again with singer-guitarist Zach Rogue's effortless voice and earnest guitar lulling you to and fro.

Rogue has a talent for writing sugary songs, with catchy hooks, that don't cause tooth decay with repeated listens. By adding simple embellishments to his arrangements such as bird whistles, chimes, and handclaps, or by using edgy studio sounds and off-kilter arrangements, he gives these twelve songs a bit of grit, making them more than just a bunch of syrupy three minute pop songs.

The sound of the album falls somewhere between a cheered-up Death Cab For Cutie and American Analog Set or perhaps a less affected Elephant 6 band. There's even a bit of Simon & Garfunkel in there.

With brand new artwork and a remastering, big praise goes out to Sub Pop for giving this previously self-released album the re-release it deserves.

Bradley Whittle

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