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The Difference Between Alone & Lonely

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Album Review

Simpatico is the solo project of Sweet William singer Jason Sweeney. As with most releases on the fine Matinee label, Simpatico calls to mind the sweet sound of Sarah Records and other labels whose speciality is melancholy indie pop. If you had to play the standard rock critic comparison game, saying Simpatico is the Field Mice having tea with Brighter at the Razorcuts' flat would be pretty close to dead on. That is pretty heady company, and while Simpatico is not quite on that level, they come close without being too derivative. The 12 songs on The Difference Between Alone & Lonely are sad, sad, and, just for a change of pace, unhappy. Sweeney's voice is heartbroken: he sounds dejected and close to tears throughout. The songs are all minor-key, mid-tempo love-lost songs with programmed drums, synths, and quietly strummed guitars forming a nicely subdued backing. Perhaps the backing is a touch too restrained, as the main thing keeping this from being a very strong album is a certain sameness from track to track. Apart from that minor flaw, this is a good record to curl up with on a sad night and revel in your melancholy.

The Difference Between Alone & Lonely, Simpatico
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