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Andy Grammer
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  • Having made his mark with his single "Keep Your Head Up," which stormed the AC and Adult Top 40 charts, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Andy Grammer follows up with a full-length self-titled album of more of the same. Grammer is nothing if not ingratiating, constructing infectious pop/rock arrangements and singing lyrics of love in his bouncy tenor. He borrows lightly from hip-hop in the music and reveals the influence of rap in the vocals, coming up with lots of lyrics and internal rhymes. But there is also the echo of jazzy vocalese, so that he's far closer to Michael Franks than to any rapper. In fact, his closest antecedent may be John Mayer, that is, the John Mayer of "Your Body Is a Wonderland," not the John Mayer intent on proving he has guitar chops like Jimi Hendrix. Grammer basically wants to make musical catnip for a female audience, usually directing himself to a significant other and singing words of encouragement and affection. Even when things don't seem to be going so well (and it's hard to imagine why) in, for instance, "You Should Know Better," he is calling his respondent "the one I love" and assuring her, "I still believe in you." And if, despite this, she still dumps him, in "Miss Me," he feels certain she will come back. In "Ladies," Grammer explains that he has come by his honeyed message for all females by heeding what he was told by his mother, and he freely tells all women within earshot, "You are beautiful, you don't even have to try." It seems likely that a significant number of them won't be able to resist his charms. He closes the album with "Biggest Man in Los Angeles," a typically sunny reminiscence of his days busking the streets of his hometown. Rosy as he makes it sound, he probably isn't going to have to do that again. ~ William Ruhlmann
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