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Sightseeing

Rob Reynolds

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Album Review

For his third album, but first to get a Stateside release, British singer/songwriter Rob Reynolds opts for a studiously mature rock sound. Sightseeing is well produced — too well, even — its songs have an overpolished feel to them, artful but lacking feeling, not unlike Eric Clapton's steam-cleaned '90s and 2000s pop efforts. Reynolds is a journeyman singer who writes for his baritone voice well and has moments of exquisite songcraft, "Upon the River" being an especially pristine creation that wouldn't be out of place on a Seal album. But for every high point, there's a track lacking in urgency: "Sweet Mother," a plea against global destruction reminiscent of Steve Miller's "I Want to Make the World Turn Around," stays mired in non-specifics as it drags on for seven minutes, while trite lyrics and uninspired arrangements mar the ballad "Loving Arms" and the didactic rocker "Sherry Man." It's not that Reynolds' melodies are subtle; they're just mild, though some, like "Heaven Knows," are quite pretty. But Sightseeing is, ultimately, an adult's album, meant to be heard in luxury cars, and unlikely to win over many fans under 30.

Sightseeing, Rob Reynolds
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