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Artist:  Wayne Everett
Label:  Northern Records
Length:  11 songs, 42 minutes

Anyone who has been part of four groundbreaking bands is destined to make a solo album sooner or later. Solo albums are usually very telling, revealing just how much the person really contributed to his/her former bands. In Wayne Everett s case, the release of his first solo album, KingsQueens, shows how much he contributed to former bands Starflyer 59, Cush, and Lassie Foundation, among others.

The first track, "A Million Leaves," while lyrically simplistic, is quite a neat pop song, complete with male and female backing vocals, nice harmonies, and even a section with brass, woodwinds, and a bit of orchestral percussion. This song showcases Wayne s talent better than any other song on the album. 

He shows his sense of style and melody on songs such as "World Series of Poker" and "Chalk," both of which flesh out anthemic verses which (like it or not) will stick in your head. 

Though Wayne apparently said that the album is "Fleetwood Mac-ish," there are some other obvious influences, such as the Beach Boys and even Pink Floyd. the album was also influenced by Eric Campuzano, Frank Lenz, Julie Martin, and the others involved in this project. Those influences, guided by Wayne s indy-pop sensibility, add up to a very good album. 

If there is one place the album suffers, it would have to be that the album is only 42 minutes long. One of the 11 songs is an older live song so the album is really 10 songs, the bare minimum. Still, the songs are very good, and anyone who liked Wayne s work previously will also be happy with KingsQueens. There are also two songs from the album available on Northern Record s new compilation, On, which is quite good as well.

Joshua Arritt 6/8/2003


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