New York City's Better Days is a band firmly aware of what they do best: craft gentle, acoustically strong melodies with harmonic flights of fancy. Their debut EP, Some Day You'll Grow Up, proves the course by offering a handful of pop/rock ditties rich in dreaminess and high on life (including the 1999 John Lennon International Songwriting Contest second-place winner "Walking in My Sleep"). Succinct and meditative, the songs thematically focus on the joy of the moment, such as the quiet pleasure found in a Sunday morning, and are a throwback to a songwriting era when a tune about raindrops falling on your head could become a hit. Even the similarly sounding Turtles, the Mamas & the Papas, and pre-psychedelic Beatles would have trouble outdoing the uplifting sentiments in these five songs. Singer Mark Flaherty's approach is direct and emotionally open. He straightforwardly addresses true love ("One and Only," "I Met a Girl") and wishful thinking ("2 O'Clock," "Sunday Morning") with undaunted conviction. A full band -- comprised of guitarist Jack Petruzzelli (Joan Osborne, Rufus Wainwright), percussionist Neil Nunziato, keyboardist Andy Hollander, and Tom Spagnardi on bass -- adds essential boundaries to flowing arrangements that might otherwise have meandered aimlessly.Some Day You'll Grow Up delights in celebrating life's simple joys through music and may strike some as an overly naïve effort. On the contrary, the comforting pop/rock refrains in this release provide a pleasantly grown-up alternative to harder, predominant genres (hip-hop, emocore, rap-metal) at just the right time.
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