The Alternate Routes - Lately
The Alternate Routes return on October 12th with their latest album, Lately. Going for a more vibrant and raw sound than on past albums, The Alternate Routes have managed to create a collection of songs that plays more like a concert than an album. Produced by Teddy Morgan at The Barrio East in Nashville, Lately captures the energy that Tim Warren (vox/acoustic guitar) and Eric Donnelly (lead guitar) have brought to The Alternative Routes since the band's birth in 2004.
Lately opens with the noisy, guitar-driven mood-setter "Intro", a brief warm up that rolls into the ethereal "Carry Me Home". The song is an airy rock tune full of longing with a nice melodic arc in the chorus; a promising start. "Rocking Chair" sets things straight in an upbeat rock song about wanting to be an answer to romantic problems rather than just a rebound man or Mr. Right Now. The Alternate Routes walk the melodic and sonic byways between The Gin Blossoms and Del Amitri on this one. "Stay" is mildly influenced by the Beatles; a prospective love song with a great melody and nicely layered instrumentation and vocals. "Still Can't Get Enough" is opaque about specifics but is full of tempered yet voracious enthusiasm that occurs where doing something you love and having the wisdom to enjoy it intersect.
"Kiss Me" is catchy but repetitive and will wear on listeners after a bit. "Lollapalooza" is dreamy, bluesy folk; an interesting musical sidebar that's very low-key and serene. "Two Of A Kind" is a song of perspective, written about life experiences and how they help us to see the world for what it really is. "Is It True" is a great example of pop/Americana songwriting. The Alternate Routes explore what happens when love falls apart in a tune that seems ripe for both adult contemporary and country formats. It's a great closer and the song that seems most likely to break for the band.
The Alternate Routes set an easy-going pace on Lately, offering up low-key, out of the ordinary pop songs with country, folk and Americana spirit. Lately is not an album that will bowl you over, but hours of solid listening await those who give it a try.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about The Alternate Routes at www.thealternateroutes.com or www.myspace.com/alternateroutes. Lately is available through The Alternate Routes' website and Amazon.com on CD. Keep checking the band's website for digital availability.