Ten West


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Ten West is a pop/rock quartet from Orange County, CA who project sunny vibes through their lyrics and well-crafted, radio-friendly songs, not the least of which is "Amazing," the first single and undisputed highlight from the album. Written by the band's guitarist, Josh Itano, the semi-acoustic "Amazing" is in the vein of a less jam band-oriented Dave Matthews and a less bluesy John Mayer (both of whom they readily acknowledge as influences), funky and upbeat and melodically rich without getting carried away with itself. The song, apropos of its good-time feel, is just as thumbs-up in its lyrics, a statement of optimism and positive outlook; it neatly sums up Ten West's beach boy approach. That shiny disposition is maintained throughout the album, which rocks steadily and sturdily but never gets very gritty. Singer Jon Ogden, who wrote most of the songs that Itano didn't, has a strong but ultimately indistinct voice; he works well within the context of the band's fairly simple and straightforward songs, but doesn't seem to know much about subtlety or nuance. Photogenic and non-threatening, Ten West could find themselves playing well to the boy band market if their accessible pop gains notice on a large enough scale.

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