CD Payne Avenue (CD 862958),
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Payne Avenue

  • 1. Used
    2. Little Sister
    3. All Sides
    4. Morning Light
    5. Leaving Me Slowly
    6. Head of the Class
    7. Dead On
    8. Girl With Pearl
    9. I Can See Through You
    10. Decide
    11. Just Wondering
    12. Minnesota
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 0002136

  • Credits
    ProducerJohn Fields

    Personnel: Truman (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards); John Fields (guitar, keyboards, bass).
    Truman's debut sounded a little like the kind of product that might have been submitted as the final exam to qualify for a graduate degree in a mid-2000, School of Rock singer/songwriter program: major label division. That's not meant as a compliment, but as a reflection of the pretty ordinary, sometimes bland album, which weaves Americana, alternative rock, and mainstream rock into nothing terribly special. Several of the affectations that mark this as very much an album of its time are evident: the vocal phrasing with tiny gulps and exhalations, the buildups from even-paced guitar rock to louder, fuzzier choruses, and the self-preoccupied, hard-luck lyrics. "Feeling like a drug store, looking like an old whore" goes the very first lyric of the opening track, and while not all of the imagery in the record is as downbeat as that by any means, much of the material has a slightly despondent, disconnected air. Occasionally this goes into mildly tough rock, but overall it's a record of unexceptional if tightly constructed songs, with slight traces of vintage singer/songwriters like Tom Petty and Elvis Costello. "Decide" stands out just a little for a more interesting melody than the rest, and "Just Wondering" is by far the punkiest of the lot. ~ Richie Unterberger

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