Tuesday, 23rd January 2018. 10:45:10pm ET
Artist: AM
CD Title: AM
Label: self-released
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 8/25/05

On his self-titled debut, LA-based solo artist AM weaves touches of folk and Americana into a subtle, moody alt rock/pop blend that transcends time and brings to mind a fairly diverse range of artists, some of the more modern including Red House Painters, Duncan Sheik, and Mazzy Star. Producer Jamie Myerson, a notable artist in his own right with a number of impressive production and remix credits, contributes a strong spatial sense and ambience to this project, his subtle electronics and spacey guitar production and mixing accenting the material's more coherent, song-oriented cores.

The disc is, largely, a stylistic blend, mellower, often acoustic guitar based offerings like "Gone Away" and the stark "Losing You" countered by more up-tempo, bass-driven moody rockers like "Playing the Game" and the excellent "Troubled Times", its chorus almost reminiscent of modern New Order or Monaco. The lovely, moody rhythm guitar foundation of "Running Away" and the beautiful "Wayside" fall into the former category, while the punchy, upbeat, hook-laden single "Mainstay" and the downright poppy "City Syndrome", complete with falsetto "oohs", fall into the latter. Others are somewhere in between, "So Lonely" and "Home" both being somewhat mellow rock ballads.

While a wee bit on the short side at under 37 minutes long, AM's self-titled debut is a strong stylistic concoction, shimmering pop hooks countered by rock tendencies that range from energetic to intimate and highlighted by subtle but strong, atmospheric production. Even AM's occasional folk/country/Americana leanings are likely subtle and transformed enough, perhaps in part due to Myerson's contributions, that they won't particularly discourage the non-country/folk/Americana-friendly light alt rock crowd from enjoying the album. Rather, it's largely a low-key alternative rock/pop outing that's likely to have fairly wide and diverse appeal.

 

AM website: www.Amsounds.com

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