Forest Sun

For the Story

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The third album by San Francisco (by way of Santa Fe) singer/songwriter Forest Sun finds the self-proclaimed vagabond wanderer sticking to the same musical waters as his first two records. Clearly a fan of both Rickie Lee Jones and '70s-era Van Morrison, Forest Sun plays easygoing folk-jazz-pop that's too pop-oriented to fit in the traditional boxes, but too slick and enervated to sound like anything exciting or new. The primary culprit is Forest Sun's Van Morrison by way of Randy Newman voice, which makes him sound too cool to actually bother opening his mouth enough to sound like he's not either half asleep or half stoned. The highlight is the album's centerpiece track, "Always," a jazzy piano-based shuffle featuring guest vocals by the Be Good Tanyas' Jolie Holland, who rouses Forest Sun out of the torpid mumble he sings in for the rest of the album for his most animated and charming vocal performance. The energy level remains up long enough for the bluegrass bounce of "Come Round Again," but by the time of the Jack Johnson-like "Twenty Toes in the Sand," For the Story is back to sounding like background music for your local organic co-op.

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