Creed Bratton / The 3DVB's

Bounce Back

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Back in the 1960s, a decent number of discriminating rock fans knew Creed Bratton as guitarist for the Grass Roots. In 2010, he's known to millions as the inscrutable and charmingly creepy Creed Bratton on the hugely successful TV mockumentary The Office. His musical talents have been hinted at on the show -- during one episode he took an electric guitar from his hapless boss and proceeded to shred with the band on a booze-cruise ship -- and his castmate Ed Helms (who plays the slightly less creepy and slightly more endearing Andy Bernard) joins him on this album, playing banjo on three cuts. The music is pretty much what you might expect: rootsy, slightly old-fashioned, straight-ahead rock & roll with a humorous edge. Sometimes the humor is sly and offbeat, as on the politely rocking "Sure Sounds Good," and sometimes it's a bit silly, as on the jug band-flavored "Love Me Like You Dance." But there are some serious moments that will take you by surprise: an absolutely gorgeous rendition of the jazz standard "Let's Get Lost," for example, or the nearly punky intensity of the slightly lewd "Change That Channel." The band really hits its stride on a couple of midtempo numbers: the brilliant "Then I Think of You" and the rootsily chugging "My Heart's an Open Book," which closes the album. Bratton is backed by a crew of seasoned professionals roughly his age, and together they prove that it stopped making sense to refer to rock & roll as "youth music" some time ago. Well done.

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