David Mead

The Luxury of Time

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By virtue of his debut, The Luxury of Time, David Mead seems to have digested a wide scope of pop music through the years. Mead writes slick, sophisticated, and at its best, timeless sounding pop songs that seem to be rooted as much in the tradition of Gershwin and Porter as they are in the music of Lennon and McCartney or Elvis Costello. The elegant "She, Luisa" and "While the World Is Sleeping," a sweet, romantic shuffle featuring former Hank Snow steel guitarist Kayton Roberts, are as captivating and refreshing as you could hope, while the affable "'Sweet Sunshine'," is pure, escapist pop. These, along with tracks such as the melancholy "Landlocked" and the lovely "Breathe You In," gives Mead plenty of room to showcase his wide vocal range and exquisite falsetto. Don't think that any of this implies saccharine tendencies or a lack of substance; Mead can be as tough musically and lyrically as he can be gentle, romantic, and lush. Cuts like the irresistible rocker "'World of a King'," the troubled "Touch of Mascara" and the cultural caveat "Robert Bradley's Postcard" can be both uncompromising and searching. Though sporting a somewhat glossier sound, The Luxury of Time fits nicely alongside the works of such artists as Freedy Johnston and Ron Sexsmith as the touchstone for the '90s new crop of young writers.

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