Scott Cresswell

Souvenirs & Photographs

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After spending the 1990s as a producer and sound designer for other artists, singer/songwriter Scott Cresswell at last stepped out on his own for 2004's Souvenirs & Photographs. Not surprisingly, the album benefits from a clean, technically solid production. What it lacks is a degree of passion equal to its craft. The haunting, compelling refrains of opening tracks "Wide Awake and Dreaming" and "White Roses" are marvelous examples of sophisticated adult alternative rock. But many of the other songs are safe, unchallenging works that fade easily from memory. Cresswell knows better than to rock out to a credibility-straining degree, but only "On Our Way," which could pass for a great lost Hoodoo Gurus track, works among the uptempo numbers. He's far better on the elegiac "Doubt," a better Brit-rock power ballad than most Brit-rock bands realized during this period. Musically solid and lyrically smart, Souvenirs & Photographs is a warm and comforting listen, but its unmemorable vocals and occasional lethargy keep it from being essential.

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