Empire state rockers the Candles' sophomore studio outing, the warm, wise, wild, and weary La Candelaria, finds the Josh Lattanzi-led ensemble offering up a sharp and road-ready ten-track set that evokes names like Big Star, the Jayhawks, Gin Blossoms, Wilco, Goo Goo Dolls, and Jackson Browne. Lattanzi, a veteran singer/songwriter and session/touring musician -- who spent ten years manning the bass for the Lemonheads, and, with the rest of the Candles, was part of Norah Jones' touring group -- has the kind of easy delivery and gift for spinning familiar melodies into AM gold that eludes many in the Americana/alt-country-pop genre. That said, it helps having a top-notch ensemble behind you who know each and every time-tested heartland trope and how to keep things fresh, which is exactly what makes standout cuts like the soaring “Believe You Now,” the twang-kissed “Blind Light,” and the folksy and effervescent “As Far as I Know,” the latter of which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the Avett Brothers I and Love and You, so easy to root for.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger