Waterline's second album finds the duo of guitarist Chris Pappalardo and pianist Jim Ellis recording with a rhythm section starring slide guitarist Sonny Landreth. Landreth's group has been working with singer/songwriter John Hiatt off and on for years as the Goners, hence the album title. It's unsurprising that Long Goners sounds so much like one of Hiatt's albums, then, with a similar mix of '70s-style singer/songwriter rock and rootsier influences. Ellis and Pappalardo lack Hiatt's angst and gravitas, however, and Long Goners is overall fairly lightweight stuff, somewhere between the Eagles' faux-country mellowness and the unapologetic pop fluff of Waterline's fellow North Carolinians Hootie & the Blowfish. Pappalardo and Landreth's guitar interplay is the album's chief pleasure, along with Ellis' warm vocal presence. The songs are overall rather a faceless lot, however: pleasant enough, with a relaxed, placid feel, but lacking particularly memorable tunes or choruses. Waterline would be a lot of fun to see at a seaside bar, perhaps, but Long Goners isn't memorable enough to be engaging.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason