Sherwood - A Different Light.
A Different Light is the first full-length from the pop quartet known as Sherwood. This little band has been steadily building online buzz since they put their Summer EP up for free download on absolutepunk.net, and their subsequent signing to MySpace Records. So does it live up to the hype?
Beginning slowly with a re-recording of "Song In My Head," it is immediately apparent that these songs will be much more highly produced than anything from Sing, But Keep Going or the Summer EP. However, Nate Henry's vocals are still as clean as ever, which was the biggest selling point of this band for me. The song proceeds into a faster tempo and picks up the pop hook neatly.
The next two tracks, "The Best In Me" and "Middle Of The Night" are probably the catchiest songs on the record, evoking the common comparison to The Beach Boys. "The Best In Me" uses a little bit of horns and synth, both of which seem a little over the top to me. "Middle Of The Night" is still my favorite Sherwood song, even if the production makes the guitars and drums sound a little tinny here.
"Alley Cat" takes a different tack with all electronic instrumentation. I'm not a big fan of it, but I like the lyrics of this song. Despite this misstep, we get right back into the swing of things with "Give Up!" whose stuttering beat will get you tapping your feet again.
"The Only Song" is yet another good re-record from the Summer EP. "The Simple Life" is a languid love song that shows Sherwood do indeed have some versatility. The same goes for "I'm Asking Her To Stay."
Overall, you'd think MySpace Records might have wanted to do a better job, seeing as this is the first release for that label. Luckily, Sherwood's incredible talent for pop music overcomes the production shortcomings. This album is sure to see a good deal of stereo time soon because it's essentially a soundtrack for lying under the trees in the summertime.
Standout Tracks: Middle Of The Night, The Simple Life, I'm Asking Her To Stay