When someone tours on their album for a year and a half, dates Kelly Clarkson and then all but disappears from the scene for a solid two years, it’s sort of hard to get a handle on what their next release might sound like.
Unfortunately for Graham Colton, his adventures in pop rock have not proven beneficial to his music.
Sure, Colton’s sophomore release Here Right Now, out today, sounds more professional than his previous work. It’s more polished and definitely has that pop sheen thanks to producer John Fields (Rooney, Switchfoot, Semisonic), but is that actually a good thing?
Even more than in the past, Colton’s work is fitting for the One Tree Hill crowd. Lyrics about love and loss read sometimes like a teenager’s journal with rhymes that actually prove distracting to the music itself.
I’m not saying it’s easy to write song lyrics, but at least make it sound like you didn’t do it with a rhyming dictionary by your side.
Strangely, though, some of the album’s most simplistic songs are my favorites. “Always In Love” has a definite hook in its fast dance beat and The Cure-inspired guitar solo.
Colton says the album’s songs are based on relationships he’s had, with Kelly Clarkson and others, so one wonders if it was on purpose that on “If Love Was Enough” Rachel Yamagata’s backing vocals sound stunningly like Clarkson herself.
Colton’s album will no doubt sell more copies than his last, especially with some prime TV or film placements. (Psst, he’s got the free song on iTunes this week, too.) But much like a good cotton candy high, in the end this album will leave you with nothing but a toothache.