Shane Anthony

Hands Like Mine

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Possessing the pop sensibilities of fellow Canadian troubadours Blue Rodeo and Neil Young, the opening tracks of this record evoke images of slow countrified days relaxing on the front porch in a rocking chair. "Fast Track" isn't so fast-paced, but rather moves along at a slow, steady, and deliberate pace, with the singer sounding similar to Jim Cuddy. Shane Anthony tends to stick to his strong points, but at times he strays, such as in "Without You," where the song's chorus tends to be a bit too busy sonically given the pretty structure of the verses. Most of the tracks are not necessarily depressing, but not as upbeat as one may expect, with "If I Could Choose" being the only exception. In some instances, the length of the song could be improved just by some self-editing languid closing minutes or half-minutes. The hardest-rocking song here would be "Gravity," which resembles the Watchmen in a subtle way. Two ballads bookend in the song though, sapping whatever groove could be built upon. The singer's delivery and style is very good, as is the supporting cast of pianist Jordan O'Connor on the melancholic "Texas."