Person to Person

Foreign Born

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Person to Person Review

by Ned Raggett

That Foreign Born love all shades of things bright, open, and at least partially U.K.-inspired, can be heard from the opening song on Person to Person -- "Blood Oranges" has soaring guitar, emotional vocals courtesy of Matt Popieluch, a thick and swooning charge, and a sense that the band's record collection -- or digital playlist, depending -- contains a fair amount of familiar suspects past and present, like U2, the Chameleons, James, Interpol, Snow Patrol, and more besides. But Foreign Born aren't simply a cover act for Post-Punk Tribute night, and whether it's other borrowings -- such as the clattering drums by Garrett Ray on "That Old Sun" that recall the equally compelling start of the Beach Boys' "Do It Again" -- or a general spirit of élan on the peppier numbers like the slickly charging "Can't Keep Time," there's a lot of spirit evident throughout Person to Person. Its high point might be the mantra/hoedown of "Winter Games," giving Ray in particular another chance to shine with a strong performance that carries the song as a whole. This all said, Person to Person is a pleasant enough listen rather than a gripping one, somewhere between enjoyable inspiration and careful exercise, a flavoring in the general indie rock milieu of the early 21st century that, for the moment, can have no greater impact. Another album might be able to provide their breakthrough, but for now, Foreign Born are in a holding pattern, and looking good while doing so.

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