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Swearing off Fame

Review by Gary Hill

While the name "M. CRANE" might make one think that this is a solo artist, that is actually the band name. Over the years the one constant in the band has been singer, song-writer Nick Maskill. Here he, and the rest of the band have produced a set of tunes that is diverse, but also seems to work together. This is alternative rock at its core, but it brings a lot of different angles and flavors within. It's an effective set that has some standout tunes.

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Track by Track Review
This comes in feeling like an energized new wave meets alternative rock styled tune. It turns toward more mainstream rock zones as it continues. It's got some catchy hooks and more of that punky energy returns later. This is quite an effective opener.
More By Now
I dig the hard rocking sound of this cut a lot. It manages to groove and get mellower at points, too. This is another with some killer hooks and a lot of charm. It has some really soaring moments, too.
A less direct tune, this has some alternative pop vibes and a lot of clean instrumentation. It's a solid number, and a nice change, but I don't think it's at the same level as the two tracks that came before it.
Couldn’t Sleep
I dig the alternative rock vibe of this cut. It has a lot of variety from mellower, rather funky zones to rocking ones. It reaches for the stars at times. It's also packed with emotion. This is a powerhouse that's one of the highlights of the set.
Laura, Don’t You Ever Sleep
More of a dreamy alternative pop rock groove is on the menu here. There are hints of Americana in the mix, and this a mellower number with an almost timeless quality to it. There are some soulful elements, too.
Swearing Off Fame
The title track is more of a direct alternative rocker, but it still has enough surprises to keep it interesting.
While this song has some drama and charm, I'm not as enthused about it as some of the rest. It's not a big change, but I just feel that it's a little effective.
I like the emotion of this cut. It's a little more understated than some of the rest here, but no less potent.
As Though You Never Left
A rather bouncy and fun romp, this is a nice change. It's also one of the stronger cuts here, as far as I'm concerned.
Shadow of Your Hand
An acoustic guitar and vocal based number, there is also some piano that lands near incidental. This is a tasty ballad that presents another change of pace. It's also evocative. My only complaint is that it seems to go on a bit long.
Beaux RĂªves
There is a dreamy, almost proggy vibe to this. It has an alternative pop feeling in a lot of ways, and this is just so cool. It's one of my favorites on the album. It has such a magical vibe and dreamscape sort of texture. There are some spoken vocals at the end. The whole cut is tastefully understated in a great way.

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