By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Promise of Summer is the first studio effort from Jackopierce in a dozen years, and it would appear little has changed in the collective muse of Jack O'Neill and Cary Pierce, those precocious Dallas wunderkinds who started the band way back in 1988. Still adept at creating hummable melodies with sing-along choruses that have absolutely nothing to say, the pair returns once again to the acoustic rock wellspring that also supplies the likes of Dave Matthews and Counting Crows. Indeed, the duo appears quite content frolicking amongst those memories of the '90s, creating perfectly polished, high-energy pop/rock that neither offends nor inspires.
From the shimmering opening notes of "Everything I'm Not" to the overblown, country-tinged ballad "Texas," it's obvious that O'Neill and Pierce can effortlessly write songs perfectly suited for the Plano housewife, music that successfully implies depth without going anywhere near it. There's not a note out of tune or a cliché left untouched as Promise of Summer plays out as catchy background music for folding laundry, crafty product devoid of soul or imagination.
Certainly, fans will be pleased, and perhaps the new effort will bring the band back into the national spotlight it shared in the '90s with likeminded (and dull) acts such as Matchbox 20 and Collective Soul.
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