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first volley from another genre-blender

Fearless (Atlantic)
Francis Dunnery

Francis Dunnery might have thought up a better name for a band than to just use his rather average name (I don't think anyone is using "Neutered Puppies"), but other than that, he did just about everything right.

With a mixture of many different kinds of music, Dunnery has succeeded with an experimental style in which many musicians seem to fail.

Dunnery mixes rock influences with flavors of rap, soul, blues and many others too numerous to identify. Consequently, Fearless comes across as a kind of Matthew Sweet meets the Spin Doctors and Tone Loc.

Even if it isn't your cup of tea, you can't help but listen just to see what comes next.

Lyrically, Dunnery hasn't broken much new ground here, but this is, after all, pop music. If his tales of love and drinking way too much don't exactly keep us at the edge of our seats, the music is sure to hook us and reel us in.

More interesting is the fact that Dunnery does it all (almost) from lead and backing vocals to lead guitar, bass, drums and even some digital programming. That, dear readers, is what I call talent, and the album is worth its while if only for a showcase of Dunnery's musical adeptness.

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