Drew Isleib

Sounds Through the Wall

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Give Drew Isleib some credit for making a singer/songwriter record in the year 2002 that's not derived from the godawful Dave Matthews/John Mayer school of chirpy folk-pop, but unfortunately, the accolades end there; Sounds Through the Wall is painfully pedestrian, though earnest and no doubt well-intentioned. Isleib's major crime is that there's nothing terribly distinctive about his approach -- he's a fair singer and decent songwriter, but so are dozens of other guys, and none of them is particularly worth listening to, either. That all said, Sounds Through the Wall is the kind of underdog record you can't help rooting for -- its simplicity and lack of affectation are commendable, and there are legions of listeners (*cough* Dave Matthews fans *cough*) for whom this would be a major upgrade.

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