In 2013 Colorway was born with F. Alex Johnson (vocals /guitar), Dave Hayes (bass) and JJ O'Connell (drums). The band got to work quickly and put out their debut in 2013 and just recently released their sophomore effort called The Black Sky Sequined. Colorway may have guitars and play actual instruments but after having a listen to The Black Sky Sequined they fit just as nice and snug in the pop category as rock. The songs on The Black Sky Sequined tout palatable melodies and familiar tropes that lies somewhere between Wilco and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
It’s the kind of music you can put on during a backyard barbecue that would blend into the conversation and ambience. The music is well written, delivered with technical proficiency but also isn’t shouting at you demanding to be heard. It will keep playing and feeding the subtle energy of the space while not engulfing it as you drink your beer and try to make eye contact with that cutie across the way whom you can’t quite remember the name of.
The album starts with one of their most single worthy songs entitled “Gen Exit.” It’s a solid song with infectious vocals and a good amount of changes on guitar to keep you from losing interest. What the song lacks in innovative or experimental tendencies it makes up with a warm, summertime nostalgia. The same could be said for the next track “Come Back July” which is about as close as the band gets to sounding like a Wilco B-side.
On the next couple of songs the band introduces some country and blues/rock tendencies such as on “Explain” and “Me and My Baby.” A personal highlight was “The Cycle” which contains some Pink Floyd-esque style vocal harmonies but for the most part is an instrumental piece. The band rocks out their hardest and fastest on “Everybody Wants Me To Love You” while the closer “Telephone” is a girth-y seven-minute song with Santana like lead guitar.
As much as I enjoyed the album the one problem I felt was that none of the songs posed any challenge to the listener. Most of the songs seemed to be as ear friendly as possible and fairly safe overall.
That being said the band has a ubiquitous sound that a large demographic should appreciate. I wouldn’t be all that surprised if one of their songs showed up between “Running Down A Dream” and “Thunder Road” at my co-workers annual Memorial day party next year.
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