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JFH Staff Review


Smalltown Poets, Try - Single
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Smalltown Poets
Try - Single



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Pop Rock
Album length: 4 tracks: 10 minutes, 2 seconds
Street Date: September 25, 2019


READER RATING:   


Some works of art are inspired by gazing at a beautiful landscape. Others are written in the wake of landmark life events, like finding true love or the birth of a first child. Not so with the latest Smalltown Poets single, "Try," which came to keyboardist Danny Stephens in a dream, sung by none other than Rolling Stones front man, Mick Jagger, in a small, out-of-the-way restaurant on a karaoke machine. True to the band's characteristically clever way with a phrase, the song's humorous look at stepping out of one's comfort zone and trying something new ("First time the florist and grocer/ Put up a poster for Saturday night/ Is it pronounced karaoke/ Said long-haired and smoky on his way to the mic") is as endearing as it is inspirational.

A musical flipside, of sorts, to the bracing Gin Blossoms-leaning alt-rock that propelled the first few records, the new composition combines lilting melodies, bouncy bass lines and fluttering keyboard textures to produce a decidedly softer variation of their inaugural sound. For those whose knowledge base is extensive enough to appreciate the effervescent '70s power pop purveyed by artists like Pezband, Dwight Twilley and The Records, this should be just what the good doctor ordered.

Objectively speaking, the cut doesn't possess the immediacy or vigor of '90s radio singles, such as "Everything I Hate" or even latter-day tracks like "For the Ones Who Run" (from last year's Say Hello album). But what it lacks in punchiness, it mostly makes up for in delicate instrumental interplay and a delightfully left-field set of lyrics, the latter of which, in typical Poets fashion, reveal the true extent of their depth and scope only with repeated listens. Not quite on par with the group's defining earliest offerings, "Try" nevertheless offers up convincing proof that the venerable quintet from Tifton still has plenty left to say and a still-hefty supply of pop savvy with which to say it.

- Review date: 9/23/19, written by Bert Gangl of Jesusfreakhideout.com


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. Record Label: Friendly City Records
. Album length: 4 tracks: 10 minutes, 2 seconds
. Street Date: September 25, 2019
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Try (2:39)
  2. Try (Acoustic Version) (2:33)
  3. Try (Dreampop Version) (2:16)
  4. Try (Rock Version) (2:34)
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