Phil Campbell   After the Garden
Release Date: 2008

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4.0 excellentredhouse | July 25th 08

This is a well written, well performed and well recorded album. For people who like acoustic guitars, well structured songs, thought out lyrics and a slightly 'edgy voice' you should give this album a listen. The first 2 tracks ('No Love Songs', 'Cold Engines') are both strong tracks, then it slows right down for the third (Sweet Sister) followed by the pacier 'Maps'.

The middle of the album sees 2 slow songs, which seem to be filler tracks. 'Should Have Stayed at Home' is the track I would be most likely to skip.

'Same Old' funks it's up just a little bit, followed by my two stand out tracks, 'Joy' and 'Hey Mama', the later being a great one to 'acoustic ROCK' to! The final track is a piano and strings arrangement that is full of emotion, a nice way to finish the album.

I really like the blends of country, folk and rock that this album has. Phil Campbell's voice is great, not too squeaky clean to be a wet blanket and not too husky to sound like Rod Stewart (not that there is anything wrong with him!).

Overall a very pleasing album from a clearly talented musician and song writer. Personally I would love to see more tracks like Hey Mama on the next album, but sometimes these decisions are not made by the artist.


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