Denison Witmer

The '80s E.P.

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The '80s E.P. Review

by Matt Fink

A seven-song EP that makes for pleasant, if not obligatory, listening, Denison Witmer traverses the well-worn path of confessional folk-pop armed largely with only an acoustic guitar and a short lifetime of memories. That being said, there is nothing startlingly original about his sound, being equal parts Elliott Smith and Damien Jurado. Probably one of the first singer/songwriters to grow nostalgic for the decade of the '80s, Witmer opens and closes the album with his thoughtful rumination of the decade "when our world was honest." His inviting, though not particularly distinctive, voice is a more than suitable partner for his stripped-down aesthetic, which is occasionally augmented by piano and bass for a more filled-out sound. At his best, Witmer wraps vaguely familiar melodies around thoughtful ruminations that place him within the "sensitive guy" coffeehouse crowd, though his songwriting hooks generally lack an immediate resonance. In the end, Witmer's sound is undeniably solid but makes you appreciate the seemingly effortless tunefulness of songwriters like Elliott Smith all the more.

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