Posted on: July 17, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Peter Searcy – Spark / 2007 Toucan Cove / 12 Tracks / / /

For individuals that were into the Louisville scene, Peter Searcy was a member of seminal Louisville punk act Squirrel Bait. Later on, ey joined Big Wheel, Starbilly, and has been doing things in the solo scene since around 2000. This is ey fourth solo release, and the album starts off with Searcy coming forth in a very pop type of style. The backing instrumentation puts this first track into a realm that blends pop and pop-country. There is a current sound to the Searcy track, but eir vocals on the track are similar to those of a Stephen Curtis Chapman and Goo Goo Dolls. “I Believe” is the second track and the first single off of the disc, and it has a backing set of instrumentation that at time calls forth a Peter Gabriel and at other times brings back up forgotten acts like Live and Citizen King.

The same hopeful, pop-rock sound that was first present during “The Summer Behind Us” is continued into this track. This album would operate best in the “chilling outside” or “doing light household work” contexts, where individuals can give attention to other things but still keep half an ear to the smoothed-out arrangements of Searcy during this album. “Is It Enough” has Searcy move into the James Blunt realm, where the emotion of Searcy’s vocals are bolstered by a slower, more deliberate instrumentation. If individuals are looking for a disc that works within the pop sphere and experiments time in and time out, “Spark” will not be that album. The music that Searcy places on this disc is nice, calm, and soothing, but is ultimately nothing that individuals have not heard before.

That is not a bad thing in and of itself, but will place Searcy into a different place. Individuals that want their rock emotive, soft, and at time energetic (as is the case with the arrangements leading up to and including the chorus of “Someday Song”) should by all means pick up “Spark”. The evolution of Searcy through the years would be interesting to hear; perhaps there should be a boxed set of eir efforts throughout the last twenty-plus years. Thus, “Someday Song” can shine alongside the work ey did on Starbilly and Squirrel Bait. Give this disc a go if you like the aforementioned artists and want a new album to work at work to; “Spark” is not necessarily a spark as much as it is some nicely-coloured and voluminous smoke, filling up the desire of individuals for a new artist in the adult contemporary charts.

Top Tracks: In The Morning, Bird Songs

Rating: 5.5/10

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