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Can't Love, Can't Hurt (Deluxe Version)

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It’s inevitable that the single “Sweet and Low” from Augustana’s sophomore album will be compared to the hit “Boston,” from their 2005 major label debut, but this time around the band is more piano-led than piano-inspired, and the songwriting feels more considered, more carefully crafted. Those who like the grand keyboards and dramatic flourishes common to the genre will love “Hey Now” and the darker “Dust,” which builds to a powerful finish. True ballads like the lovely “Fire” and “Twenty Years” are fine examples of a young band finding their hearts on their sleeves, but keeping the emo-stylings at bay and sounding original and fresh. The perkier tempos and chunkier guitars of “Either Way” and “Meet You There” both have a Tom Petty-ish energy, and “I’m Still Not Over You” is a close contender with “I’ll Stay” for the second most radio-ready track in the collection. Overall, Augustana seem to be honing their mainstream rock voice to a sharper edge, while also figuring out what sorts of textures work to make an entire album really engaging and worth listening to all the way through. The pretty acoustic versions of “Sweet and Low” and “Hey Now” (here in video format) are well worth having as bonuses.


Formed: 2002 in Greenville, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Augustana's music is the heartland equivalent of Coldplay and Keane, with a touch of mid-'90s adult alternative throwback (think Counting Crows or the Wallflowers) also peppering the band's rootsy, piano-based rock. Although based in California, the group formed in southern Illinois in 2002, while singer/keyboardist Dan Layus and guitarist Josiah Rosen were studying contemporary Christian music at Greenville College. The band's original lineup also included bassist Simeon Lohrmann, second keyboardist...
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Can't Love, Can't Hurt  (Deluxe Version), Augustana
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