Although Spouse is generally thought of as being a solo project by producer José Ayerve, he has gone to great lengths on Confidence, the band's first album for Nine Mile Records, to subsume himself within a group identity, listing his name in the middle among four others (Naomi Hamby, Dan Pollard, J.J. O'Connell, and Ken Maiuri), each of whom gets a photograph the same size on the back cover, and crediting the group as producer. Similarly, all five, plus, occasionally, one of the guest musicians, get credited for writing each of the songs. The album title is a good indication of the musical approach; from the group vocal that begins "No Sudden Moves," there is a feeling of assurance in this music, as the band plays like a band, with propulsive drums, ringing guitars, and clean, audible vocal tracks. Ayerve makes himself a bit more evident as the disc goes on, stepping out as a singer detailing issues of domestic life, sometimes in an idiosyncratic manner. But the overall impression remains one of an accomplished, kinetic unit playing together on some attractive pop/rock tunes.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann