David DesRoches, better known as Dave Rave, has assembled a fine cast of musicians for this sinfully sweet pop/rock album, Everyday Magic. The former member of the Shakers and Teenage Head uses an array of talent including two of the Trews. And judging by well-crafted pop/rock tunes like the title track, he hasn't lost his sense for melody. The tight, riff-friendly opener comes off like a seasoned track by Paul Westerberg or the Replacements prior to getting royally drunk. Meanwhile, "Madeleine Says" is slightly slower and brings to mind a downbeat Sloan or Matthew Sweet with delightful harmonies leading the way. Simple but timeless. Even when Rave offers up a roots rock number in the vein of the Connells and the Jayhawks, as he does with "Trace of the Human Race," it comes off nearly flawless with its fine subtle jangle. The first song that doesn't quite hit the mark is the somber, string-laced "Jennifer Cries" that uses a backbeat David Gray often utilizes. It's not bad, but it just doesn't seem to go anywhere. Fortunately, the musician returns to his strengths with the jaunty, rock-tinged "Maryann" that chugs along quite strongly before culminating in a barroom-like rave-up. He even reverts to an old-school rock style with the rather rudimentary "Help Me Please" that contains handclaps and some tickling of the ivories. The surprise might be a Beatlesque "woe is me" ballad titled "Cry Myself to Sleep" that also resembles the Everly Brothers to some extent. One clunker is the blues rendition during "Don't Know What to Do" that is rather sluggish from start to finish. And the somber, piano-driven "How Can I Stop" doesn't fare much better. One of the stronger songs here though is "Love Fades," which sounds like a rowdier Teenage Fanclub.
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AllMusic Review by Jason MacNeil