Say this for AM: the man comes by his lazy roots rock sound honestly. Born in Oklahoma and raised in and around New Orleans, AM sings with a laid-back drawl and writes songs that rarely rise above a moderate level of emotional intensity or a cruising, middle-of-the-road tempo. Interestingly, his most obvious vocal referent is Ian McCullough -- try spinning "Playing the Game" for friends over the age of 35 and ask them to guess the band, and it's a good bet they'll ask you which Echo & the Bunnymen B-side it is. The album's feature single is "Mainstay," which features the program's most aggressive drums along with some really pretty 12-string guitar and the album's only truly indelible hook. "City Syndrome" is also noteworthy, though, with its Weezer-meets-the Beach Boys backing vocals and summer evening vibe. The album closes with the lovely, minimalist "Losing You." A year after AM's release in 2004, the label released a remix EP featuring "Mainstay" along with four drastic (and often aggressively techno) rearrangements of that song, as well as a CD-R video track. It's worth picking up, but good luck finding it -- as of this writing, very few online outlets were offering it.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson