Everyday and Then Some

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Apart from the notable departure of one Cliff Hillis, one of the band's two lead singer/songwriters, not much of Starbelly's formula changed in the four years since its debut, Lemon Fresh. But even though Dennis Schocket's songs were among the most full and joyous on the debut, Everyday and Then Some is a decidedly more melancholy affair, focusing on mannered and somewhat downhearted reproductions of late-period Beatlesque pop. But apart from this shift, the elements of the debut -- from the warm, full production and cinematic harmony vocals -- are still in place. That's kind of why it's surprising that very little of Everyday and Then Some takes hold the way songs like "This Time" or "When Will You See" did, and why -- even though it does improve after repeat listens -- very few of the tracks here make any real impact. Maybe it's just a case of a repeated formula producing diminishing results, or maybe the long gap between albums caused the band to over-think, but Everyday and Then Some just doesn't seem to burn quite as brightly. That said, Starbelly does utilize the same formula this time that they did last time, and that means that fans of the debut most certainly won't be disappointed -- "Baby's Eyes" and "Mother of Pearl," in particular, rank amongst the band's best work.

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