Soul Kid #1

Americanized

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With the group's song "(More Bounce In) California" appearing on shows such as Laguna Beach and The O.C., rock band Soul Kid #1 sounds like a collage of groups like Primitive Radio Gods and New Radicals. That's not to say that they'll be one-hit wonders, but following the mellow introduction "Americanized," the group, and especially lead singer Marc Godfrey, up the ante with the groovy "Until It's Gone..." that is driven by the bass much more than any electric guitar until the second half where things open up. Think of a brief but tight rave-up by Primal Scream and this fun but fleeting moment comes to life. Most of the songs are quite radio-friendly and fortunately not overly polished, with the horn-tinted "It's Your Lifestyle, Baby" sounding like an outtake from INXS circa "Elegantly Wasted." However, the hit single seems to be a rather stale and insipid number that doesn't quite live up to the first few songs, bringing to mind something out of Edwyn Collins' or Smash Mouth's Walkin' On the Sun. Soulkid #1 isn't afraid of grooves, though, judging by the punchy, radio-friendly and somewhat old-school style oozing out "Ghetto Fabulous." But as well-crafted and executed as that song is, the ensuing "Everybody Gets Somebody" is a slow, safe and rather tedious number that leans toward filler more than quality material. Soul Kid #1 recharges for an edgier, tougher sounding "Killing Machine" which is propelled by a simple but effective militaristic drumbeat. The homestretch sees the band mixing things up with a smooth, Howie Day-ish, singer/songwriter nugget titled "The Dystopians (Part 2)" with some string arrangements. One notable highlight is the slow-building but beautiful "Two of Us Against the World" that shines from start to finish. And another pleaser is "Some Kind of Wonderful Drug."

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