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Northern Skies

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Album Review

Vermont-born, Boston-based roots rocker Todd Thibaud's first album in five years increases the always-present pop elements in his music. Much like the work of fellow Massachusetts-based Americana singer/songwriter Joe Pernice, Thibaud's music has moved effortlessly, over the course of four albums, from fairly traditional country-rock into a more idiosyncratic blend of jangling guitar pop, emotional ballads, and moody, epic rockers. Northern Skies may not be his best record — 1999's Little Mystery is a tough one to top — but it's his most wide-ranging, and its high points are high indeed. The opening track, "Three Words," is one of Thibaud's most effective rockers, reminiscent of prime Nick Lowe, and the choogling "Why Can't I Explain?" is the same fizzy mix of country and power pop that the Minus 5 have made their own. A couple of songs recall 2000's characterless and overly polite Squash, most notably the bland Maroon 5-style pop/rock of "Isn't Love My Friend?," but overall, Northern Skies strikes a good balance between the AAA radio charts and the roadhouse.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

During the early '90s, singer/songwriter Todd Thibaud was the frontman for the Courage Brothers. The Haverhill, MA, group's rootsy alternative pop was showcased on two indie albums: 1993's Something Strong and 1994's Wood. Just as the band was nearing a major-label deal, creative differences caused a breakup. However, Thibaud retained the Courage Brothers' name and continued preparing for the major-label release; meanwhile, the label switched formats and dropped all of its rock signings. Starting...
Full Bio
Northern Skies, Todd Thibaud
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