Academy Songs, Volume I
Feb 25, 2013 Web Exclusive
Academy Songs, Volume I unfolds within the confines of an imagined all-boys prep academy in frontman John Orth's mind. And while the single "Golden Sparklers" delivers a flicker, it turns out to be more of a flash in the pan by the time the last track rolls around.
"Academy" provides a quick hook to the album—a lilting roll leads into inspired drum work that carries the song like a guitar—and "Golden Sparklers" moves things along easily with its chorus bursting open as the song evolves through lively, orchestrated sections.
After the sparse and pretty "Bedfellows Farewell," which offers a tender counterpoint to virtually every other song on the album, Academy quickly loses steam. The songs straighten out and button up without a sense of exploration, like a flat desert road on a long drive.
"Golden Years," the final track on the album, carries the weight of longing well with its strummed acoustic and choir, but even that can't redeem the album from its less inspired second half. (www.holopawmusic.com)
Author rating: 5/10
Average reader rating: 8/10