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David Mead’s songs are invariably described as “lush and sophisticated,” adjectives that are normally a good indication something is boring. As a performer and songwriter, he’s often compared to Paul Simon, probably because he’s from New York and exercises a tendency toward complex phrasing. Further proof, perhaps, that should you encounter his albums at your local record store you would be advised to move right in the opposite direction.

But “lush and sophisticated” was already a cliche when it was used to describe Billy Joel, and Paul Simon wasn’t a full-fledged phony until he tried to be Mr. International. Perhaps because Mead spent his formative years in Nashville, he has a sharper appreciation of what makes for a good three-minute pop song.

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