Robert Burke Warren This Day

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Warren's quiet, sensitive folk-rock is pleasant and well-produced, but unfortunately that production can't obscure his mediocre songwriting talents. Most notably, he suffers from the common folk-rock ailment of substituting breathy sensuality for bedrock energy. For the Leonard Cohens of the world, weariness is a stock in trade that only enhances a brilliant song but, for second-stringers, the effect of half-whispered lyrics too often serves only to emphasize an unremarkable melody. ...To This Day is not without its highlights, however: The samba-esque "Tomboygirl" contains some of Waren's most charming lyrics, and "I Want Her Faith" is a poignant ballad with nice harmony vocals. Although the music here is thoroughly modern and frequently captivating, one cannot help but wonder how much better most of these songs would be if there was just a little more sting in the delivery.

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