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Thursday, November 27, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 6.0° F  A Few Clouds
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Bascom Hill: Bascom Hill

This Madison band follows a straight and narrow modern-rock songwriting formula on this follow-up to their 2005 release, Maybe. The disc is heavy on production sheen, but that's not enough to make these tepid melodies and trite song constructions shine.

The conventions are thick on tracks like "All About Tonight." The progression of quiet/loud/quiet marches in sync with the layout of verse/chorus/verse.

The scrapbook nostalgia of the lyrics is lean on emotional depth: "When we look back 20 years from now through the pages of our lives," sings Charlie Victor in a polished and nondescript voice, "we'll realize it was all about tonight."

The CD gets more mellow halfway through, but the change in tempo doesn't liven the mood. The steady beat of "Save Me" is met with a flat acoustic guitar riff.

Bascom Hill sounds like a band trying to sound like every other mainstream national pop/rock band. It succeeds, and that's the problem with this album.

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