Chadwick Hagan

Ottley Road

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His name might sound like someone one would expect to be singing traditional Irish airs while wearing a fisherman's sweater and holding one hand cupped over his ear, but in fact Chadwick Hagan is more along the lines of a slightly less ironic Beck. Southern-born but Anglo-besotted, Hagan cribs ideas from everyone from Big Star to Oasis, ending up with a catchy if somewhat derivative brand of good-timey power pop that's at its best on songs like the shuffling, catchy opener "If It Will" and the soulful, organ-driven "Not as Down." The deal-breaker for many will be Hagan's voice, a whiny and nasal instrument that recalls the Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano, which makes even seemingly heartfelt lost-love songs like "Come Back Home" sound as if they're delivered in imaginary air quotes. A less uniquely voiced singer might be more immediately appealing, but it's testament to Chadwick Hagan's musical skills that his vocal affectations are more occasionally irritating than downright obnoxious.

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