Griefbirds

Paper Radio

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The collaborative debut of veterans Coby Batty and Paul Watson, the GriefBirds specialize in light breezy folk-pop with a slight Western tint. Obviously the work of experienced hands, the GriefBirds take the aesthetic of classic '60s folk-rock bands, using their relaxed pace to wax poetic on the standard themes of life and love. Joined by a host of friends, Batty and Watson seem very much at home with the weary Neil Young-ish balladry of tracks like "Yours" or the occasional Simon & Garfunkel mid-tempo pop tunefulness, although they fall somewhat short of establishing their own unique sound. Still, that's hardly a complaint, as each track wastes little time in establishing a strong pop hook with a variety of acoustic guitars, double basses, and keyboards mixing with the occasional clarinet for an instantly accessible, if not entirely original, sound. Although they generally find currency with contemporary Americana, the carnival march of "Song of the Lost" manages to break from the pack. Of course, that's not to say that the majority of the tracks fall too close to each other stylistically, as they manage to achieve a level of cohesiveness without being overly repetitive, making for a nicely rounded set of mature acoustic pop.

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