Music » CD Reviews

Frank Camp

Ignoring the Obvious (Calamity)

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Like Tony Lang, with whom he played in the Simpletons, singer-guitarist Frank Camp put a great deal of thought and care into recording his solo debut. For Ignoring the Obvious, Camp went to three different studios -- Neon Cactus in Akron, Old Hickory in Nashville, and his own Campland Studios in Cleveland -- and recruited local players such as guitarist Frank Romano (formerly of Freebass), bassist Mike Crow (formerly of Anne E. DeChant's band), drummer Joe "Coach" Hanna (formerly of Funkomatic and Freebass), and percussionist Mike Holloran (formerly of the Simpletons). Camp, who cites everyone from the Beatles to Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Counting Crows as influences, has a husky voice that sounds like a cross between Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi, yet the assumption that he's doing something unique with the presumptuously titled Ignoring the Obvious is a farfetched one.

The titles of the songs alone -- "Promises (We Never Kept)," "Getting Over It," and "Heaven Can Wait" -- suggest the extent to which Camp relies upon clichés when writing his lyrics. "Going Back to Vegas" takes up the all-too-familiar theme of embarking upon a road trip to clear the conscience, and power ballads such as "End of the Day," "Go on With My Life," and "Give Me Your Word" are so sentimental, they would make better Hallmark greeting cards than songs. The songwriting isn't bad -- all of the tunes here are catchy and well-executed, and tracks such as "Parade of Fools" and "Go on With My Life" sound so familiar, you'd swear you've heard them sandwiched between Matchbox Twenty and Third Eye Blind on the radio. But given the fact that the adult alternative sound has grown so tired, it's not saying much that Camp could hold his own against such listless competition.

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