The David James Band

On the David James Band's first full-length, it's clear that the group's namesake has a deep affinity for Ben Folds, particularly in his vocal phrasing. At times his voice is a dead ringer for Folds. Musically, James's piano-led quartet owes a lot to Folds, too, especially on cuts like "Stored Away" and "Midnight Hide & Seek." Elsewhere on the album, though, the group veers off in different directions. The opener, "Loss of Words," with its bouncy electric piano, captures the sunny pop of Jellyfish's excellent 1990 debut, Bellybutton. And on "If I Were Taller," James and company get a bit jazzy and steer into Jamie Cullum territory. Ultimately, James, like Folds, has a knack for crafting bubbly pop-rock tunes that are catchy as hell.

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