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CD REVIEW: Jon Lindsay's Escape from Plaza-Midwood

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THE DEAL: The solo full-length debut from Charlotte singer-songwriter — known for his work with Benji Hughes, Catch Fire and The Young Sons.

THE GOOD: The album starts out with basic acoustic strumming behind Lindsay's soprano vocals, but don't let the simplicity fool you — it's not long before you hear the depth of production work involved. You can hear the time Lindsay took in crafting the songs. Slight hints here and there let you know there are more layers than a trifle here — the horns, guitar play and bass riffs on "Frequent Flyer," for example — without sounding muddy or too complex. There's a '60s style in his choruses and songwriting while also an obvious '80s influence — electronic hints that sound like old Atari themes. "Bring The Old You Back" has a glimmer of Michael Penn's "No Myth" inside, while the lyrics hint to (literally) Jackson Browne and Merle Haggard.

THE BAD: The rhythm of "Number Every Summer," sounded a little too much like the tune to The Brady Bunch's "React Positively" from the "Adios, Johnny Bravo" episode. There's no hyphen in the actual Plaza Midwood name. The indie-pop songster's best work seems to come out in the studio — note to Jon, please don't sing along with your track on an iPod during a live show again.

THE VERDICT: No surprise that Lindsay garnered praise from CL readers as the 2010 Best Male Vocalist and Songwriter, and I hope he can come into his own as a front man and establish a bigger presence for his live shows. It's a solid debut from start to finish — 15 tracks of mature songwriting that meet their expected potential.

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