Strike a Pose
Strike a Pose is an unlikely marriage of excellent production and the earliest stages of musical discovery, where the dawning realization of the full depth of what songwriting can be meets the availability of professional production values. At times tentative and rudimentary (particularly in Tom Breed's hesitant vocals), the album nevertheless has a quiet, gentle power behind it. It is exploratory in the way only the earliest offerings of an artist can be, before their sound is refined and focused (and often, limited). The first half is poppy, never moreso than the doo-wop-styled titular track, and reaches the height of it's energy with 'Is Land', which could be mistaken for a sitcom theme song at spots. From here, the album takes on a quieter, more wistful tone, with evocative tracks like 'Healthy Kids', which may be the best-suited for Breed's gravelly whisper of any of these. The songs on the second half of Strike a Pose are significantly stronger and more cohesive as a complete work, but the album isn't lacking from the transition to it's better moments. Exploration seems to be the theme here: of new ways to write music, of new ways to present one's particular gifts, but also of a gentle introspection, a mind that wonders while it wanders. This is a strong first effort.