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  Music on Plastic
Artist: Wayne
Label: TVT Records
Length: 13 Tracks

Wayne is a relatively new band from Birmingham, Alabama that national audiences may have seen earlier this year opening for Five For Fighting. Aside from that tour, Wayne appeared at SXSW earlier this year and also hit the road with John Mayer for a string of dates. Part of the group’s sound certainly lies within the same parameters as their touring mates, but there’s also hints of Brit-pop influence (Coldplay) with roots rock undertones (The Jayhawks). 

“Slow Down" kicks off the disc with a low key guitar snarl and Rodney Reaves' soaring vocals. Clearly the tune could fit right in with recent material by Travis, Coldplay, or Starsailor. “Shooting at the Stars" is slightly meatier in comparison, combining hearty licks with passionately melodic vocals. The disc’s first single “Whisper" follows, and like the first two tracks, it’s easy to latch on to given its carefree guitar strums and inviting harmonies.

The more organic sounds are found on the stripped down swagger of “With Regards" and the ethereal ballad “Figure It Out." It’s a shame such momentum turns sour by the end of the disc for the final two tracks “All in All" and “Drop D." Both are Wayne’s most somber and simplistic compositions, during which Reaves' vocals are boringly draped over a lifeless acoustic guitar. At the end of “Drop D," the rest of the band adds in their instrumental contributions, but by then it’s too late to rejuvenate interest. 

Aside from the ending, "Music on Plastic" is mostly filled with flowing melodies, cheerful harmonies, and chunky guitars. Granted, that’s been done by tons of bands before, but Wayne combines those elements and manages to carve out a niche of their own. 

Andy Argyrakis 8/18/2002



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