Your Local Joe
David Mead is a singer-songwriter. Such a non-descript description is fitting. He writes and sings his own songs and bares all his inner thoughts and yearnings while doing it. It is not an easy thing to do. Mead deserves props merely for attempting the process. Unfortunately, it isn’t anything you haven’t heard before at your local coffee shop. New album Almost & Always is far too precious and a bit cheesy.
The album opens fairly strongly with “Rainy Weather Friend” and “Little Boats.” The best tracks by far, they are concise and catchy. Mead strives to write the classic three minute pop song with these two numbers. “Little Boats” has wistful, Gershwin-esque piano pecking and best showcases Mead’s high-pitched vocal register, unlike “Mojave Phone Booth” which moves into tone deaf territory. Mead’s singing voice is rather difficult to sustain and often weak and whiny. He has to find the right vehicle to carry a tune. “Last Train” is one track in which this can prove to be effective. The sincerity of the album is apparent, but lyrics such as “autumn leaves” and “oceans made of morning dew” sound like they belong in “The Sound of Music.”
The sparse, acoustic quality of the album is not terribly exciting. It never really takes off or goes deep. However, Almost & Always is warm and familiar, much like the coffee you’ll enjoy while listening to David Mead.