Elliott Smith, R.E.M., Buddahead, Bob Dylan
Kevin Devine is one of those musicians that you have to look for because, despite how much his music progresses in the awesome department, intellectual artists with a knack for being out spoken without allowing it to become a novelty niche aren’t well received in the mainstream. Fortunately not being given the spotlight hasn’t deterred Devine from moving on with his music and making it better and better with each new release. His latest is no exception.
According to Devine’s Last.fm page his influences include Bob Dylan, Nirvana, Elliott Smith, and Guns N’ Roses. Its apparent once the album begins and Devine’s haunting vocals tap into an Elliott Smith vibe. As the album rolls on the very distinct taste of influence is apparent but Devine and his band manage to make whatever similarities between themselves and whoever else very faint by coming into their own with very catchy hooks and toe tapping beats. Folksy tunes play backdrop to stories about alienation, love, and other social commentary which Devine flips through vocally with all the prestige of an acrobat. Its just one of the easiest experiences in music that you’ll find. Fantastic harmony in the vocals, an almost jam session tempo, and as usual intellectual lyrics that have a universally accessible message to them. Well worth checking out. Enjoy.