Dent May

Friday

SXSW Records

Dent May

The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele (Paw Tracks)

Dent May's debut goes far in redeeming the unfairly maligned reputation of the ukulele, achieved less from his handling of the instrument than through the more ambitious pop arrangements of Good Feeling. The Mississippi native's dramatic croon mocks Morrissey through a filter of Brian Wilson, but he never takes himself as seriously as either. Instead, much of the album echoes Jens Lekman's ballads, lovelorn on "Girls on the Square" and "Oh Paris!" but with a self-conscious hokeyness like tennis-champ ode "God Loves You, Michael Chang." While the quirk charms "You Can't Force a Dance Party" and the hilarious "I'm an Alcoholic," similar stabs "At the Academic Conference" and "College Town Boy" hit the tipping point of amusement. May's album is laced with talent, but ultimately the whimsy undermines rather than accentuates his best moments. (Thu., Volume, 12mid; Fri., Antone's, 8pm.)

**.5

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