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George Usher – Yours and Not Yours (Parasol)

20 August 2009

Singer/songwriter GEORGE USHER has quite a NYC underground pop pedigree, boasting stints in BEAT RODEO and the SCHRAMMS and long associations with RICHARD BARONE and current power pop darling EDWARD ROGERS. He does have a small catalog of solo albums, though, of which Yours and Not Yours is the fourth. Though Usher’s prior experience might lead you to believe this is a jangle pop record, it’s not. Instead, lush, gentle tunes like “Love By Any Other Name,” the pedal steel-laced “Unforgivable Sin” and the strings ‘n’ piano-drenched “Just a Story” have more in common with the baroque pop of the LEFT BANKE and its plush, folky cousins from the late 60s and 70s. This means that Yours and Not Yours demands a certain attentive focus in order to appreciate Usher’s craft and charm; put this on in a busy office as background noise and you’re likely to dismiss it as soft rock pap. Which would, frankly, be a mistake – Usher’s graceful melodies and emotional depth softly caress the ears and heart alike if you give ‘em a chance.


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