Will Bowen
"Between the Lines"

(Thrill Records 2002)Will Bowen - Between the Lines

In listening to Will Bowen's "Between the Lines," there is little except the album's hidden track, a song describing an unobtainable crush on a girl at school, which would lead you to believe that he was not even eighteen when he wrote and recorded the album. Armed with his guitar, his somewhat rough pop vocals and a good back up band, Bowen offers up fourteen songs he wrote himself on an album he co-produced. Talk about self motivation.

It only takes the first chords of the album for the song to instantly remind you of a John Mayer radio single as "Make it Last" is upbeat and poppy before Bowen offers "No Way Around," a well produced ballad. Mid tempo and familiar sounding, "Losing Sleep" contrasts from "Wondering," a song that maintains a folksy pop sound with gentle banjo. Darker lyrically, relatively speaking, Bowen really tries to tell a story on "Six Feet Deep." Offering another ballad, "Buried Alive" is led by its driving melody while the upbeat and perky "Take my Reasons" returns to more of the album's original sound. The second half of the album is made up of several mid tempo songs, like the melodic return to John Mayer style "So Sorry" and the power pop "Say the Word" and "Lead me Back." Bowen ends "Between the Lines" with "Silver Line," a ballad of being left behind, and a plea to be left, "Anything but Down;" tacked on the end of "Anything but Down" is an upbeat song of typical teen love angst.

Consisting almost equally of slower and upbeat songs, Bowen's album is on the whole made up of poppy songs that rely mostly on the lyrics. Surprisingly for a solo release, several of the songs do include instrumental parts demonstrating the fact that it is not just Bowen's vocals that are the focus. For his first full album, Bowen's "Between the Lines" is commendable; he certainly is not starting off on a bad foot at all.

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