David Singer

The Stars Burn Out

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Give full credit to David Singer. He's managed to make a very short album -- it clocks in under 37 minutes -- sound like something much longer. It's all in the meat of the songs and performances, and there's plenty to sink your teeth into here. From the plaintive "Social Studies" on, he draws listeners into his world with quirky observations like "And isn't it easier to get through days at work and not complain picturing tollbooth operators glassy-eyed and making change?" But he marries his words to some excellent melodies. His Beatlesque influences are still intact, refracted through more influences than ever: e.g., the new wave of "A Theory on What Happens When You Die" (almost an homage to early Elvis Costello), the faux bar blues-jazz of "Bad Babysitter," and "The Rules of the Game," which doesn't pretend to be anything but American rock. There are plenty of hooks everywhere, and choruses that sink into your brain and refuse to go away. Musically, there's much more guitar emphasis than on his previous releases, although he does end with the piano-led ballad "Can I See You Tonight?" Singer has grown into an artist of real stature, and his rise to world domination can only be a matter of time now.

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