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Artist: Davenport 
Label: Phloamdilly Records
Time: 7 tracks/23:19 minutes

This Married Life 

Minneapolis duo Davenport is a band in search of a sound. Their sugarcoated, self-titled debut EP is slick and well-crafted pop pleasure, but lacks a consistent vision. That's not always a bad thing--especially in pop music, where variety can liven up often-monotonous outings--but songwriters Jason Peterson and Gregg Ward have taken a potentially enticing jaunt into eclecticism and created a record that feels more like an album of covers than the product of a thriving band.

The songs, in and of themselves, are solid but heavily influenced. "This Married Life," the record's bouncy opener, sounds like it could be a lost track on Ben Folds Five's Whatever and Ever Amen. Same goes for "Say the Words," which could just as easily have come from the vaults of Supertramp. Expertly played and potently produced, the record sounds great, but unfortunately, the songs don't always hold up.  The strongest and most consistent songs are the slow, spacey numbers like "I Can't Die," "Sticks and Stones," and the beautiful "This Time." These efforts showcase a unique vibe, coming across like Nick Cave (on Prozac) singing G. Love songs.

Davenport has a strong pop sensibility, and they write intelligent lyrics of love, loss and that ever-elusive perfect relationship. If they can whittle their variety of influences into a more singular sound, there's no telling how far they could go.

Scotty Teems  3/13/2000


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