Valencia

This Could Be a Possibility

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This Could Be a Possibility is the slick, well-crafted debut from melodic rockers Valencia. Though only their first proper disc, this young band already seems to know exactly what it's doing: the choruses soar, the guitars crunch and harmonize when needed, and each song is filled with enough poppy hooks to make a band like Saves the Day nod in approval. The topics of their earnest, fresh-faced songs about love, life, and growing up are easily identifiable to any starry-eyed, heartbroken, or uncertain teen, yet they won't alienate older, jaded listeners. Urgent drumbeats open "The Space Between," a rousing ode to long-distance love that features longing lyrics like "Can you remember sitting by my side/On the bank of the Delaware River and talking about life." And yes, Valencia may be a part of those "born in a generation of bright lights but no inspiration" ("Backs Against the Wall"), but lines such as "One thing I know/I'll be fine/This is just the story of my life" from the guitar-driven, anthem-like "Will We Ever Know How?" hint at a positivist attitude that permeates the whole album. Each energetic song is well produced and catchy enough, but what sets this quintet apart from the emo pack is the voice of lead vocalist Shane Henderson; he croons with an urgent smoothness that comes as a break from the often whiny vocals of many of his peers. While not a vast departure from the popular scene -- but then again, not all albums need to be -- Valencia has served up a solid, unpretentious offering to enjoy without shame.

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