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Close to Me

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Album Review

The Comfies don't quite have the frantic energy of the Killers but seem to have a smart, highbrow pop sense about them along the lines of Velvet Crush and Matthew Sweet. This is particularly true judging by the short but sweet opener "Close to Me" that has a warm, California summer feeling to it. Lead singer and chief songwriter Benjamin Adam Harper slows things down somewhat for the winding, jangle-tinged "That's What She Gets" that brings to mind the likes of the Byrds and early Tom Petty. And the group allow the song to be fleshed out thanks to the work of guitarist Rafael Cevallos. Unfortunately, a song such as "Medicine" sounds like a bad cover version of a Franz Ferdinand track, seemingly rather aimless and with little going for it. Just as odd and tedious is the soul duet called "In My Room" that might grow on some listeners. It has a swift change of pace in the middle before reverting back to a rather stale, '70s-era pop/rock format. The Comfies rarely rock the boat, although a couple of highlights include the sugar-coated and cavity-inducing "Your Sunshine" with vocalist Andrea Barrett providing some nice color. Another highlight is the sincere and well-crafted "Understanding 23" that has a lot in common with Ben Folds even with some dramatic flourishes at its conclusion.

Close to Me, The Comfies
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