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Monday, June 21, 2010

Nick Driver - Warm Is Your Color

Nick Driver - Warm Is Your Color
2010, Nick Driver

North Carolina punk rocker Nick Driver takes an adroit turn on his latest album, Warm Is Your Color. Turning to word-heavy light acoustic pop (ala Jason Mraz) and balladry, Driver looks to bring the energy of punk to the finesse and precision of pop music.

Driver dives in with "Logged In" which tracks relationship decline in a digital age. It's a great pop tune with a dynamic acoustic arrangement and is a fun listen that should be warmly greeted by major radio. "Send A Message" finds Driver channeling Jason Mraz right down to his vocal inflections in the same, familiar talk-sing style. Driver shows surprising range and flexibility in his voice along the way, with a falsetto sound that will make choir directors everywhere wish they had him. Catchy is the word for "Knights On White Horses Make Girls Happy", a highly creative and original love song that will find its way into your head and demand lodging for the night. Moving more in the realm of love songs, "Young Beautiful" is catchy and allows Driver to again show off his range.

Things take a sudden turn on "Let's Stay Together", an insipid ballad that is too slow and too cliché to keep you from hitting the skip button. "Without Love Poster" is a bit better but is still stuck in the gooey love song rut. Driver returns to rock n roll with "Burnin' Down This Town", a tale of angst and ambivalence that speaks to action but never broaches. "Worshipped By The Energy" is ambitious; an attempt to details the trials of putting yourself out on stage. The song is drab and emotionally over-wrought, lending itself to a "poor-me" sound that people who dream of being on stage will never understand (and might actually take umbrage to). "Sidelines" shows off Driver's better qualities, an upbeat bit of acoustic soul/pop. "Sidelines" represents the best songwriting on the album (just edging out "Logged In"), and would do very well as a single. Driver leaves us with an acoustic take on "Let's Stay Together"; an improvement over the original but not by a lot.

Nick Driver swings for the fences on Warm Is Your Color. Like any big swinger, sometimes he gets it right and sometimes he strikes out. The more up-tempo acoustic pop songs work very well for Driver, whereas the slow ballads find driver losing energy, focus and sound. On balance Warm Is Your Color is a solid effort, but if cut down to a five song EP you'd be hearing raves about it from all over.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Nick Driver at or Warm Is Your Color is available as a CD or Download from Amazon.

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