Three years after going back to the minors with the dynamic Opening Time, the Push Stars maintain momentum with Paint the Town. They've switched labels, but that's the only change they've made with their fourth album. The Boston modern rock trio's earnest sound has been tailored for college radio in the past, and it's as hearty as ever. Producer/engineer Greg Collins works alongside the Push Stars to highlight the band's strengths. Vocalist/songwriter Chris Trapper is a convincing frontman, and the band's ability to write catchy tunes makes for a tight package. Catchy doesn't necessarily mean there's going to be a hit, but that's not to say that the music isn't solid. Collins' focus on that allows Paint the Town to exist without comparison to what the band has already done. It's a healthy dose of adult contemporary rock and post-alternative rock, and songs such as "Outside of a Dream" and "Lucky Sevens" are nice fits for mainstream radio. The Push Stars' honest to goodness energy is refreshing and a touch reminiscent of Counting Crows' August and Everything After. String arrangements and jangly three-chord guitars are brisk on "Claire," whereas "Freedom" walks with folk stylings and lovely backing vocals from the Twigs' Linda Good. The Push Stars uphold a strong pop-driven sound without all the trimmings on Paint the Town. The musicianship is full but strict, while simple production keeps it lean, and that makes for a good set.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson