Different High

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On their sophomore effort, Come Again, Even walked the fine line between rock and pop and between classic and modern rock to excellent results. Their ability to bridge rock's subgenres made Come Again into an accomplished, timeless record that became a critical favorite. On their third album, 2001's A Different High, the scales begin to tip more heavily toward the more bloated side of '70s classic rock and away from modern pop. That doesn't mean that A Different High is the product of a different band, but it does mean that many of the '60s elements in their music have begun to fade away in favor of epic balladry (such as "Bowie in My Dreams"), longer musical excursions, and less-compact songwriting. The finest moments here are when they do reel it in a bit, such as the moving, string-laden single "Shining Star" or the power poppy "Seconds" and "Kommercial Radio." It's not that A Different High is a major departure from what Even has been doing, but after perfecting the formula with their last album they've opted for something slightly different, with slightly mixed results. Still, even though Even's audience is mostly made up of pop fans, nothing here sounds much different than the excellent offerings from a band like the Shazam, nor is it a shocking departure from Come Again.

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