BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Sweet, concise and flush with emotional effervescence, the ten tunes that adorn Doug Paisley’s brilliant third album further affirm the fact that this savvy singer/songwriter may well be pop’s next great hope. A native of Toronto, Paisley takes an everyman approach that combines a soft strum with an emphatic delivery, mining the kind of songs that make a first listen feel far more like the twentieth. And even though the material can often be unassuming to a fault, it resonates in ways that are both resilient and refreshing.
Mostly though, Paisley finds a comfortable middle ground that recalls the essence of ‘70s soft rock, a sound that would make James Taylor or Jackson Browne nod with approval. The irresistible “Radio Girl,” the sunny “Song My Love Can Sing,” the soft and soothing “Old Times” and the pretty, retro-referenced “Growing Souls” offer a refreshing shift in stance from the mannered, self-conscious approach that’s plagued many a singer/songwriter type in recent years. Consequently, it’s no surprise to find a familiar figure like the Band’s Garth Hudson lending his credence and expertise. Strong Feelings sums up the sentiments, but it’s the eloquent execution that makes this so sublime.
DOWNLOAD: “Radio Girl,” “Song My Love Can Sing,” “Growing Souls”