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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Adam Watts
Label: BEC Recordings
Length: 13 tracks/56 min.
In what seems to be trend over the past few years, BEC Recordings has given us another singer-songwriter type, but there does seem to be something different this time around. Adam Watts is no stranger to recording. His name has been floating around in production credits for several years now, so it only seems natural that he would get his own shot at a solo album. Playing most of the instruments on his debut album, The Noise Inside, Watts shows he’s no rookie to this game.
Watts presents an album that musically isn’t too far from his labelmates Jadon Lavik and Jeremy Camp. Having worked with both Lavik and Camp, its not surprising to hear a few things that do sound familiar. It’s fair to say that Watts lands right in between the two; never too aggressive, but not as poppy as Lavik can get. “Meaningless Things” is the album’s first punchy track, showing Watts’ chops on guitar. “Beautiful Fall” is a nice slow rocker, bringing in somewhat of a Tom Petty sound. And that certainly not a bad thing for Watts to show off. But this album is nowhere near perfect.
This project’s major downfall is the song selection. After track 7, “I Would Choose You,” the pace slows down so much that the listener could lose interest. So it’s almost like the first seven tracks are a completely different album. “I Wanna Be Like You” tries to save the album, but even that song misses the mark.
The Noise Inside also suffers from Watts’ musical meanderings. While it’s ok to show a bit of what you can do, Watts likes to show it a bit too much. This album goes from dark folk sounds of “Rescue Me” to grunge-pop rock of “I Wanna Be Like You” in just a few tracks. And it’s in those last six tracks that Watts tries to mix things up. While all those songs might be ok in their own right, Watts never seems comfortable sticking to one style.
In the end, Watts’ staying power will be defined by whether he can settle into his musical ability enough to give the listener a great album. While this is a good release, it’s certainly not a strong as one should expect from a musician in such high-demand.
Zach Delph 12/11/04