Lee DeWyze

Oil and Water

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Easing into independent status, Lee DeWyze uses 2016's Oil & Water as something of a continuation of 2013's Frames. Like that record, this sways to a folky lilt, sometimes hitting the backbeat hard but usually not mustering up the energy to go full Mumford. This means DeWyze relies on his sensitive side on Oil & Water, a move that at first seems rather wise but by the time the album gets into its back half, the music turns skeletal, moody and mirthless, the melodies swaying along with the sleepy strums and the ever slimmer arrangements. Perhaps this sparseness was intended to convey intimacy, but the record is too hushed, too slight to suggest anything other than relatively rustic mood music.

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