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Paparazzi (With Dennis Diken)

Jamie Hoover & Bill Lloyd

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Album Review

This duo comes from a mix of Byrds-ian power pop and a lush orchestral-meets-roots style on the delightful "Show & Tell the World," which recalls Tom Petty or a mandolin-driven Steve Earle, if in tandem with a far fuller supporting cast. Both Jamie Hoover and Bill Lloyd sound like they're blood brothers on the sweet harmonies that would draw fair comparisons to an Americana version of the Rembrandts. The melodic consistency is what makes this record so infectious early on, especially on the adorable head-bobbing "Better Left Alone," which has enough twang to be quite memorable. The Beatlesque "Screen Test" is odd at the beginning but settles in quite comfortably with its fine pop sensibilities à la Paul Westerberg. The same can be said later on for the grin-inducing "Really Not Alone." When they turn into a sappy ballad framework, though, it's a pale Neil Finn impersonation on the formulaic "As You Were." They return to a rowdier way on the fine "The Bucks Stop Here," despite the fact that it sounds like a B-side or quick barroom run-through. Another adult contemporary "soul" tune, "I Can't Take It Back," is marginally passable thanks to the pretty verses. Perhaps the highlight of the stellar album is the ambling "Still Not Over You," which sounds as if they've taken it from the Partridge Family and splendidly revamped it. And they keep the momentum on the softer jangle of "Walking Out." Only on "Fireflies" do they move into a bland soul sound. Overall, it's one small miscue on a great and consistent pop album.

Paparazzi (With Dennis Diken), Jamie Hoover
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