Eamonn Vitt CD review [Self-Starter Foundation]

Music Reviews
Eamonn Vitt CD review [Self-Starter Foundation]
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Feb 11, 2003, 02:50

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EAMONN VITT Deserted Music CD

Eamonn Vitt's previous band Karate came to prominence during the singer/guitarist's tenure in the band. He quit in 1997 in order to study the nobler pursuit of medicine at Columbia University. The band carried on, but without the same level of excitement surrounding it. In the time since then, Vitt has traveled, studied and worked in South America, Vietnam, Cuba and the American Southwest and continued to write songs on his own.

Deserted Music is his debut album and a culmination of experiences sung with the warm confidence of a storyteller… or, the pleasant demeanor of a doctor's bedside manner. Vitt bypassed the lo-fi home-recording route—for which I'm thankful—and roped in several friends to lend their help to the proceedings. And, while it all sounds quite full, rich and nice… it also sounds toothless and comfy where it seems like it wants to sound emotionally powerful. There's nice and cozy little trumpet lines, chiming guitars, soft harmonies and pleasantly urgent warmth to the vocals that makes it all sound a bit too Adult Contemporary for my tastes. Unlike Eric Matthews or Magnetic Fields, it's not charmingly fey and preposterously poppy with a dark undercurrent. Instead, Vitt goes the U2 route, penning uplifting sounding melodies that are imbued with a sense that we the listener somehow have to care enough to listen to his stories and want to help our poisoned protagonist.

Elliott Smith was clearly a big influence, but the difference between the two is that Smith's claustrophobic and bleak songs could bring out our empathy. Vitt's wispy and introspective songs seem only to beg for sympathy. Physician, heal thyself! [Self-Starter Foundation]

-Dave Clifford

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