The first album with former Matthew Good Band guitarist Dave Genn has Canadian rock icons 54-40 invigorated with new blood. And Yes to Everything shows the band very comfortable in delivering well-crafted rock that also happens to be radio-friendly at the same time. This is very evident judging by the midtempo pop/rock of "Easy to Love" that has a certain swagger to it. Meanwhile, the straightforward punch of "Can't Get Enough" also seems to work with Genn and singer Neil Osborne working as tightly as the tandem of drummer Matt Johnson and bassist Brad Merritt. The quartet also manages to change things up with the bouncy and almost ska-tinged "Golden Sun," that could be covered at some point by No Doubt. The first mediocre effort comes during the winding and somewhat meandering "Stopline" that relies on Merritt's bassline once too often. It's a cheerful effort but one that really doesn't go anywhere. The obvious highlight comes on the midtempo, roots-y "This Is Here This Is Now," which could have fallen off one of the albums by the Traveling Wilburys without the hokey factor or any Tom Petty solo release. It's a pretty track that glides along brilliantly and 54-40 returns with a similar format for the gentle and summery "Beautiful Self." The band excels, though, in creating simple but catchy rock songs, particularly on "Blue Plate Special" that shines over "All About Love," the latter lending itself to audience participation in a live setting. Another little nugget has to be the punchy "Calling You Out" that they flesh out quite nicely and sounds like a distant cousin of the Strokes. Like a fine wine, 54-40 are aging well and have made another very good record.
Yes to Everything Review
by Jason MacNeil