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Album Review

Eight years after Chris Stamey left the dB's (and three years after the group finally sputtered to a halt), he reunited with former bandmate Peter Holsapple (who became the group's de facto leader in Stamey's absence) for this duo album. Mavericks finds both Holsapple and Stamey sounding a bit older, quieter, and more pensive than they did in the old days; while one can see many flashes of the bright, angular power pop that dominated the dB's first two albums, most of the songs are dominated by acoustic instruments, somewhat slower tempos, and a more "mature" tone. The introspective overtones of "Angels," "I Know You Will," or "Close Your Eyes" mark a switch from what these guys were doing on Repercussion or Stands for Decibels, but if you're looking for clever and well-crafted pop tunes, both Holsapple and Stamey deliver the goods, and they do rock out a bit here and there (most notably on "Lovers Rock" and the wonderfully sardonic "I Want to Break Your Heart"). Both Chris and Peter are at the top of their form as vocalists and players, and they get plenty of welcome assistance from such Hoboken-scene notables as Dave Schramm, James MacMillan, and Jane Scarpantoni (fellow former dB Gene Holder even pops up on one cut). Mavericks often sounds like semi-acoustic post-new wave pop for grownups, but it's a good bit more fun (and less academic) than that description would suggest.

Mavericks, Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey
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