Shane Faubert

Kalkara

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In his solo career, Faubert has gotten progressively further away from the garage and retro-pop that characterized his stint with the Cheepskates, while retaining some of the flavor that might attract fans of 1960s pop/rock and '70s power pop to his work. Indeed, there isn't much garage at all on this disc, which is fairly diverse in production and texture, although still rooted more in classic '60s and '70s idioms than later alt rock ones. There's the slightly psychedelic drone on "I Wanna Hide," and obvious nods to Michael Brown's Baroque pop in the Left Banke and Stories on "Lifeline," "Into the Wind," and "Will You Be There Tomorrow." Faubert is one of the most plaintive-sounding singers in '90s indie pop -- which may or may not be a positive depending on your tastes -- and makes him stand out in a field that's dominated by more aggressive and blatant vocalists. The tone of his writing is most often (although not universally) wistful, verging on melancholy on minor-keyed tunes like "Flow My Tears." It's not a stunning disc, but it's recommended to indie popsters looking for something more mature and meticulously crafted than the norm in this mini-genre. The CD has two extra tracks, one of which, the Mersey-tinged "Please Don't Tell Anyone," is actually one of the standouts of the package.

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