DeGraw’s new album wows

Emotional tunes make transition to fall Sweeter

COLLEGIAN REVIEW – Sep. 20, 2011

By Jamie Douglas

As the air begins to cool down and the trees show the first signs of fall, it’s time to put away the overplayed summer radio hits and give a listen to Gavin DeGraw’s fresh sounding new album, Sweeter.

DeGraw’s new album release date was pushed back, and soon after that announcement he was attacked by a group of men and then hit by a taxi in New York City. The incident put the singer in the hospital for his injuries. It is safe to say that the delay is well worth the wait, and after recovering from his injuries he will be touring with David Cook this fall.

The opening track, sharing a name with the album’s title, Sweeter, commands attention and holds true to his classic style. “Not Over You” is a standard breakup song, but DeGraw’s passion and emotion transcend the lyrics to convey more that can be heard at first listen. He sings, “Dreams, that’s where I have to go / To see your beautiful face anymore,” and makes you feel his depth and evolution as an artist.

“Run Every Time” and “Stealing” stand out the least of the ten tracks, sounding rather cliché and unoriginal. DeGraw’s vocals shine on “Soldier,” a testament to selfless love, and his tone is so soulful you can’t help but want to melt.

As the leaves start to fall on campus, “Candy” is a song that will keep your spirits up through the day. It is a fresh, upbeat song that feels like a breath of fresh air coming through your speakers. Following “Candy” is “You Know Where I’m At,” another ballad about his longing for love. “Where You Are” is a similar track; the two ballads are saved by DeGraw’s raw emotion making the lyrics more distinctive and beautiful.

“Radiation” starts with a chant-like tempo, followed by Gavin’s pumped up shriek that leads into the best song of the album. This song will command your attention and it is rather hard not to tap your foot along to the unique, standout beat. The lyrics even warrant a smile: “If you get an invitation I’m probably drunk / You’re just as hot as radiation.”

“Spell It Out” closes the album with meaningful lyrics, framed by crooning from DeGraw. It is lost, however, behind the other more upbeat songs on the album, which proves that fast tempo songs seem to be his strength on this album.

Overall, Gavin DeGraw hits the mark with Sweeter, and creates an album worth listening to for any occasion. His passion and soulful singing fuel the album; it would be great to listen to on your drive home with the windows down, enjoying the transition into fall.

Grade: A

Download: “Radiation”

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