The Contrast

Wireless Days

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The Contrast's second album is less derivative than their debut; singer-songwriter David Reid has synthesized his various influences -- from Television and the Stranglers to Miles Davis and the Shadows -- into something more his own. In some ways, this makes Wireless Days a more consistent listen than the spottier Mystery No. 1. Unfortunately, however, while that album's weak spots are missing here, its high points were much higher than what's on Wireless Days. There are no genuinely bad songs on this album, but even the best of the batch (the dramatic "Drop Dead Gorgeous Love Song" and the jangle-poppy single "Can't Stand the Light") are as slight and sugary as meringue, and many of the others are insubstantial to the point that it's difficult to remember them once the album is over. Between Reid's pleasant but anonymous vocals and the vaguely pretty tunes, the Contrast sound like anonymous late-'80s Brit-poppers the Mighty Lemon Drops retooled for the new millennium.

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