D.L. BYRON - &IU

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"the album showcases one of pop music’s finest tunesmiths in excellent form. The twelve tracks have a familiarity that warrant easy comparisons with fellow singer/songwriters Richard X. Heyman, Marshall Crenshaw, Walter Egan, Dwight Twilley, Warren Zevon and Bobby Sutliff – to name a few. “Fine Line” and “Division Street” also both sound like they could have been (or could be) chart hits for the Gin Blossoms. The power pop and pop/rock songs borrow riffs and melodies from prior decades so effortlessly that the listener will feel like he/she is welcoming back a dear friend. Byrds and Gene Clark fans will be drawn to the superb tribute to Gene Clark entitled “Into The Rain (for Mr. Clark).” The song opens with an acoustic riff similar to the opening of the Dashboard Savior’s “G.I. Joe;” transitions into a mid-tempo electric chord progression that sounds like Dramarama’s “Lullabye;” all the while weaving Byrdsian riffs into the melody. Byron’s poignant song (sadly) reminds pop fans that the music world might have been even brighter if the Clark-McGuinn-Crosby songwriting team had remained intact for more than two years. The melancholy ballad “Jeremy” is an update to the theme of a homeless musician that was popularized by Joni Mitchell’s “For Free.” Byron finally gives a power pop treatment to his classic song “Shadows Of The Night” and D.L. embellishes “Pretty White World” with chiming Byrdsian licks. Although “Into The Rain” is overtly intended to be a tribute tune, the entire album is a tribute to the timeless appeal of power pop. More than thirty years after launching his pop career, &IU is strong evidence that D.L. Byron still has the chops!