For any unenlightened soul who expected A.J. Croce to merely follow in the same path as the average "offspring of a renowned musician" -- most of whom merely put out recordings in hopes of a quick buck -- you have been proven wrong long ago. The son of the late, great Jim Croce has been releasing albums of his own since the early '90s, and 2006 saw the release of Cantos, the third release from his own label, Seedling. By looking at the inside of the disc, Croce is definitely an aficionado of vintage gear, as each instrument utilized is listed by make, model, and year. However, Cantos is not a retro-sounding release, but it is Croce's most stripped-down effort yet, as several selections focus solely on his vocal and piano-playing skills. Top compositions that follow this aforementioned approach include "When I'm Gone" and "All About You," as well as much of the album-opening "Time Will Tell." Not all of the tunes are piano heavy, though, as guitar serves as a replacement on "Play" and "I'll Know It's Right," while a surprise cover of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" turns out to be another highlight. Thirteen years into his recording career, Croce may have issued his best album yet with Cantos.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato