Music News

Coles Whalen

Folks exclusively interested in original sounds should avoid this EP. Singer-songwriter Whalen, who appears with Shannon Curfman on Thursday, August 9, at the Walnut Room, specializes in the tried-and-true, and if a single note on her latest is unique to her, it's well hidden. Nevertheless, the six songs here are so polished, professional and effective that they usually work anyway.

Whalen's voice has a bit more personality than the average American Idol semi-finalist, Christopher Jak's production is free of extraneous aural goop, and most of the material sports at least one hook capable of lodging in ear canals. Such catchiness isn't always a positive; "So It Is" and "Honeyed Out" represent opposite sides of the same cheese log. But "Call on Me," "How Do You Do This to Me" and "The Getting Side" are lush, poppy and/or jaunty enough to overcome their familiarity.

Nothing Is Too Much is nothing new — and in this case, that's okay.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts