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Title - 'Augustana' (Epic)
Artist - Augustana

I once described Augustana's third album as "the soundtrack to an autumn romance." Well, for their fourth album, I think I'd have to describe it as the soundtrack to the movie made about said autumn romance!

Most of the songs feel like they were tailor made for the big ending scene of a romantic movie where the guy runs to the train station to stop the girl he loves from leaving him forever. And the songs that don't feel like that feel like the songs played during the "sad montage."

You know, the part where a sad song is played over scenes of people being sad. Some might be wondering if this is a bad thing. Well, it's not just a good album, it's a great album!

It's a solid, cohesive work that's easy to listen to and before you know it, find yourself singing along. A fun album to drive to.

I've never been a big fan of Augustana's singles though. "Sweet and Low" is the only one I listen to on a regular basis. I'd have to say that their first single on this album is no exception. "Steal Your Heart" is far to repetitive and, simply put, forgettable, for me to enjoy it more than background music.

What I've heard will be their next single - "Shot in the Dark" - is much better, however. So far, it's one of my favorite songs on the album. They've come a long way since Midwest Skies and Sleepless Mondays. They developed a Wallflowers sound, which is exactly the band this album brought to mind. You put Jakob Dylan on lead vocals and no one would know the difference!

When I first heard All Stars and Boulevards I was hoping for more of a Dashboard Confessional/The Spill Canvas type sound as the band progressed, but this is a sound that works for them. They do this very well.

Of course, if you are looking for a return to that raw feeling of All Stars and Boulevards (my personal favorite from their collection), then you will be disappointed. They found their sound with Can't Love Can't Hurt, and it looks like their sticking with it. Maybe that's why they chose to go with a self-titled album: because this is Augustana.

Well, if it is, you won't hear any complaints from me. I'll be looking forward to learning this album by heart over the coming summer. I won't say this is better than Can't Love Can't Hurt, because, honestly, I don't think it is. But like I said before, this isn't just a good album, it's a great album. [JB]

www.augustanamusic.com





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