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Lareau are from Jamestown, NY, and the only other band of note from that small town is 10,000 Maniacs. But Lareau have little else in common with their alterna-jangle predecessors. This band aims directly for the mainstream, producing a polished, radio-ready sound that tips its hat to acts such as Maroon 5, the Dave Matthews Band, and even the '80s version of Bruce Hornsby. This is pure unadulterated "adult contemporary." Leader/songwriter Larry Lareau glories in obvious and innocuous arrangements. "I Need You" is a pleasant enough power ballad. "Quicksand" is rhythmically interesting and breaks a little from the obvious mold of other tracks, and "Changes" aims at "introspective," but it feels as if all of the song's flourishes have been heard countless times before. Ultimately, there is something relatively skilled but calculated and toothless about Lareau's approach, and one feels like they are aiming too squarely at radio success while sacrificing artistry, from their clich├ęd lyrical platitudes on down to their well-played but obvious instrumentation.

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