Bruce Hughes

Shorty (Freedom)

Texas Platters

Bruce Hughes

Shorty (Freedom)

The subtitle to the sophomore solo effort from this Scabs and Resentments mainstay proffers it as "an album of momentary songs." Setting himself to the task of crafting tunes as short as possible (only one breaks the three-minute mark), the "momentary" nature that Hughes invokes unfortunately applies equally to the songs' lasting impact. Shorty revels in defying any coherence of style or thought, driving in endless detours that ultimately lead nowhere. The Beatles-meet-Ben Folds pop of "Kiss Tomorrow Hello" sits uncomfortably beside the lackadaisical soul of "Happy to Help," laptop break beats of "Dear New Girl," and head-scratching hip-hop of "Magic 2th." Hughes' trilling falsetto on "Faster You Fall" sounds like a watered-down parody of Prince or Lenny Kravitz. The playfulness of the entire endeavor works best on the blues of "Baby's Bag," while "Daydream" and "Awake to Remember" showcase Hughes' capable songwriting, but those moments only emphasize an overall lack of the same.

**

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