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Gerald Bair

We All Fall Down

Mayhem

Gerald Bair sings of suburban fables and youthful life lessons with a country-western pop style that's original and engaging. Picture in your mind a less world-weary Bruce Springsteen, or John Mellencamp without the chip on his shoulder. Now imagine those artists with the voice of a teen idol. It doesn't hurt that Bair loaded this album with great songs. On "Hangin' Out With Elvis" -- a ballad of a man whose failed dreams have left him with nothing more to lose -- Bair's sweet, earnest vocals give a bittersweet taste to the empty boast "I'm hangin' out with Elvis/ And there's no one else around." Southwestern guitar sets a romantic mood on "Come to Me," and steel guitar anchors the decidedly country "A Little Left." New York memories figure in both the spirited "Driving Out of Rockaway" and "Bleeker Street," a love song to the hub of Greenwich Village nightlife. The uptempo "I Don't Want to Talk About That" sounds like a flashback to 80s new wave, and "Janey," the most personal song on the record, builds in urgency and emotion as a man remembers an old flame who's taken to a life on the street. We All Fall Down hints at a developing artist, at a creative crossroads in his life, but with an idea of where he wants to go. It's nice to be along for the ride. Mayhem Records, 285 W. Broadway, Suite 300, New York, NY 10013

--Gail Worley

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