Singer/songwriter Dave Derby spent a stint in Lloyd Cole's post-Commotions backing band, and there's a hint of Cole's wry way with a twisted love song in Derby's solo debut. (The overdriven, distorto-rock "You're My Plus One" is a sentiment instantly familiar to anyone who's spent some time on the guest list.) A varied and self-assured album, Even Further Behind covers a fair amount of stylistic ground, from the American Music Club-like lament "Boston" (which, naturally, features a pedal steel appearance from AMC's Bruce Kaphan), to the ironically chipper-sounding "California Nervous Breakdown," with its sunny harmony vocals and ringing guitar riffs. Throughout, however, Derby's intelligent, rueful lyrics and knack for low-key, adult pop tunes (think Neil Finn and, again, Lloyd Cole) keeps him from sounded too all-over-the-map. Even Further Behind is an impressive, promising debut.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason