Owsley by OWSLEY
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It seems that the only thing foreseen more frequently than a big pop revival is the death of Beatlesque rock & roll. Neither prediction ever quite comes true. As sure as you can count on a Crowded House
coming along every few years to serve as a new messiah for pure pop, you know you'll soon be scratching your head and pondering, What ever happened to Jellyfish?
But they just keep coming. Will Owsley is the latest Great Hope to step forward. Owsley fronted the Semantics, a Southern trio whose Geffen debut was never shipped. After that bitter disappointment, the group's drummer--one Ben Folds
--moved on and Owsley ended up in the touring bands of Amy Grant
and Shania Twain
. Don't draw any conclusions based on his past employers, however. Owsley plays rock & roll, albeit of the lyrically wistful, lovingly arranged variety. Owsley needs to pour a little more of his own soul into his work, but while he learns how to bring greater depth to his songs, the surface-level pleasures found on this self-titled debut are plenty captivating. --Steven Stolder