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Gavin DeGraw by Gavin DeGraw
Released: May 2008
Label: J Records
DeGraw comes out of the Rob Thomas school of guitar-heavy blue-eyed soul, belting this unapologetically sentimental set of big near-ballads. Problem is, he never really lets off the gas -- choruses on the slow jams buzz with as much adrenaline as those on the funked-up rockers. By the time we get to the slightly more sedate tunes like "Young Love" or "Let It Go" (neither of which can fully resist piling on guitars), the wailing is a bit exhausting. Among the bushel of potential singles, nothing has the love-at-first-listen chorus of his 2004 hit "I Don't Wanna Be."
Nate Cavalieri