The Shore's full-length Maverick debut offers enthusiasts of the AAA radio format a palette-pleasing aggregate of spacy Britpop and dusty American rock texture. It's a fashionable, well-appointed album, impeccably designed for the leisuring iPods of listeners who like their music furiously in the moment. Ben Ashley -- songwriting brains and frontman of the Shore -- channels Richard Ashcroft brazenly, particularly the cheekboned one's more dramatic solo work. But that won't matter to those swooning over the Shore's sun-spackled piano ballad "Take What's Mine," or the dusky, loopy, string-laden opener, "Hard Road" -- the sound might be shockingly derivative, but since three out of five Americans have either forgotten or never knew of the Verve and Ride, the Shore's lapping pace and gentle waves will wash forth as fresh and new as a watercolor daydream. "Waiting for Sun" plays soft pop verses off a chorus melody worthy of Embrace's grandeur (more keening strings, stat!), while "It Ain't Right" and "Firefly" do nice things with tensile electric guitar dynamics and changes into fluttery vocal harmonies. In its weaker moments ("Everything We Are"), The Shore drifts into middling alterna-pop. The Shore -- coming soon to a vintage-inspired Levis ad.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus