The press release for In Grenada's self-released debut album, Break, displays a photograph of four people and lists four group members, but the disc itself states, "All songs written, performed and recorded by Jesse Leyh." The music certainly does have the insulated sound of one man's studio project rather than a group effort. Leyh likes to play what used to be called "power pop," but probably now would be termed "indie pop." His rhythm section keeps up a steady, driving pace, his guitar parts jangle and chime, and his vocals trace catchy melodies. He also gets co-credit for mixing the record with Dave Downham, and the two de-emphasize Leyh's vocals, consistently placing the guitar textures in the foreground. Since Leyh (who must think his singing voice is his weakest talent) also double-tracks the vocals and adds heavy echo among other effects, the result is that the vocal parts come off as just another instrument in the sound picture. Leyh does, however, provide the lyrics in tiny print on the CD sleeve, and the words turn out to be poetic and self-assertive, if non-specific. So, perhaps the mix that buries them is appropriate. But Break is an introverted recording, and full-band performances in a live setting might give the songs a better realized presentation.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann