Singer-songwriters can be hard to swallow. There are few who can pull off winsome sappiness without looking like a total sap. Then there are guys like Dan Craig, who seem to hover somewhere between sentimental mush and genuine potential. Wirebird (due for release on Thursday, December 14, at the Walnut Room, in a show with Colder Than Fargo, Nathan and Stephen, and Joshua Novak) is a collection of Craig's extremes, jumping from affected solo numbers to folk-pop hits back-lit by a full band. Craig shines brightest on his own, as evidenced by tracks such as "Cherry Moon" and "Wirebird Lullaby," which recall a less-experienced Rocky Votolato or even Elliott Smith. But when he goes for the more accessible college-rock sound, things start to fall into generic Ryan Adams territory, with gag-me lyrics like "I'll make the sun break through these clouds again." If Craig exercised just a little more artistic restraint, such navel-gazing might be a little easier to digest.
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