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Tuesday, September 2, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 74.0° F  A Few Clouds
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Nick Venturella
Sweetsonic (OatMeal)

Sweetsonic is the Madison singer-songwriter's fifth solo release, with the emphasis on solo. The album was entirely written, performed, recorded and produced by Venturella at his home studio. Too often - as in the song "Inside My Head" - this approach results in emotionally vacant percussion. Venturella is at his best when he chooses to leave the drums out of the mix altogether. With his knack for songwriting, strong voice and first-rate guitar work, the seemingly canned drums are a needless distraction.

Venturella's lyrics are personal and accessible, telling stories of emotional endurance through the challenges of typical days. There's a lot to like about Sweetsonic, even if the production cries out for less MIDI and more Nick.

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