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Once Around

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The Autumn Defense's self-titled third album, released in 2007, sounded as if it could have been the best West Coast soft rock album of 1970. By contrast, the group's fourth LP, Once Around, would have bubbled under the Top Ten for 1971; it's still the product of a pair of very gifted musicians with plenty of worthwhile ideas, but it's never as strong and compelling a piece of work. John Stirratt and Patrick Sansone, who write the songs and oversee the floating team of musicians who comprise the Autumn Defense, seem to have lost nothing in terms of their grasp on their craft on Once Around; the musicianship is first-rate, the production is almost perfectly attuned to the nuances of the band's chosen style, and Stirrat's vocals (as well as his harmonies with Sansone) are marvelous. But craft doesn't always equal inspiration, and Once Around doesn't boast the sort of songs that come to life the same way as the melodies on The Autumn Defense, and while all 11 tracks sound good, very little stands out the way that album's highlights did. There are exceptions — the slightly angular "Every Day" adds an edge to its downcast beauty, and the uptempo drive of "The Swallows of London Town" gives the album a shot of energy it sorely needs. But too much of Once Around is caught in a gentle, midtempo loop that's lovely without being as magnetic or emotionally stirring as Stirratt and Sansone's best work, and while plenty of groups mining the influences of '70s pop would be thrilled to make an album as accomplished as Once Around, the Autumn Defense can and have done better, and for all its strengths, this disc is pleasant, tuneful, and something of a letdown. Better luck in 1972, guys.


Gegründet: 2001 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Jahre aktiv: '00s, '10s

The Autumn Defense arrived with the 21st century, capturing colors of a bygone era. Fronted by John Stirratt, longtime member of Wilco and formerly Uncle Tupelo, the Autumn Defense is the result of a collaboration between Stirratt and musical compatriot Pat Sansone (who has worked with Joseph Arthur, Swan Dive, and Josh Rouse, to name a few). Sharing roots in the Southern rock scene of the late '80s, the two converged a decade later in New Orleans after Stirratt's completion of the Mermaid Avenue...
Komplette Biografie
Once Around, The Autumn Defense
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