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Luke Wade And No Civilians

You know that awkward feeling you get when a white college bro plays something "funky" on an acoustic guitar, and at first you think they're joking, but then you start to realize they're serious about it? That's how much of Tomorrow's Ghosts, from Fort Worth's Luke Wade and No Civilians, will make you feel.

Which is too bad, because Wade's dramatic and breathy Ray LaMontagne-esque delivery and the light-rocking pop arrangements with the faintest hints of R&B and soul obscure some lyrics that, while occasionally delving into overwrought relationship melodrama, are also well-crafted and compelling at times. Also, horny. Not that randiness and thoughtfulness are mutually exclusive.

"Quiet As You Can," about a furtive bedroom rendezvous, is a good example of what he does best and worst. The lyrics are sexy and mysterious and subtle, with smoky horns adding some muscle to the arrangement, but guitar wankery and Wade's melodramatic gasping drive the song into cheesy territory.

The rest of the disc is much the same, an intermingling of promising songwriting and schmaltz.


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