It Was Easy

Title Tracks

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It Was Easy Review

by Tim Sendra

After the breakup of his previous band, Georgie James, in 2008, John Davis (who also drummed for Q and Not U) decided it was time to go the one-man band route. He picked the name Title Tracks and began recording demos that attracted some notice from fans of taut, hooky, power pop and post-punk-inspired songs driven by wiry guitars and vocal harmonies, and Dischord Records, too, who released the band’s first single in summer of 2009. The A-side of said release, "Everry Little Bit Hurts" is one of the highlights of Title Tracks' debut album It Was Easy. One highlight of many; the album is packed with jumpy rockers, soulful midtempo ballads, and just plain good rock & roll songs. Songs that would jump out of the playlist on a mix tape, like the pulsing bubblegum rocker "Black Bubblegum," the slow grooving "No, Girl," the jangling and sweet "It Was Easy," and the undeniably powerful rocker "Steady Love," to name a few. Davis keeps things pretty simple musically, with most songs built around guitar-bass-drums, and only the occasional keyboard or horn. It’s all the backing he needs because his wonderfully elastic voice carries the songs, whether on its own, flying off into falsetto, or layered into snappy harmonies. That he manages to hold his own against the formidable vocals of Camera Obscura's Tracyanne Campbell (who guests on a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Tougher Than the Rest" and "No, Girl") shows just how strong his singing really is. The whole record is strong and impressive; the only bummer is that Davis includes two covers ("Tougher" and the Byrds' "She Don’t Care About Time"). Nice as they are, it would have been better to hear two great originals. That’s a minor complaint, though, because even with the covers, this debut is impressive and stands as some of the best rock & roll anywhere as the decade kicks off.

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