Jeffrey Gaines

Galore

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Moving to the independent Rykodisc after spending two years on the majors doesn't hurt Jeffrey Gaines in the slightest -- if anything he sounds liberated. Galore still has hints of the commercial sheen that distinguished Somewhat Slightly Dazed from his debut, but that isn't a bad thing. His supporting band -- featuring Bowie guitarist Reeves Gabrels plus two of his colleagues, as well as keyboardist David Sancious, who played with Sting and Springsteen -- is damn near flawless whether they're turning out rousing pop or ballads. Gaines remains slightly more impressive when he strips everything down to his acoustics, as on "Toast and Tea," but even full-fledged pop-rockers like "Belle de Jour" are punchy, catchy and well-crafted. Gaines remains in a netherworld between a cult singer/songwriter and mainstream pop-rocker, but for listeners willing to meet him there, Galore is one entertaining listen.

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