Lately Baby – Rhett Repko (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Lately Baby - Rhett Repko - ArtworkAs I have mentioned once or twice before, Rhett Repko is one of those artists who have restored my faith in the musical middle ground. Even those last three words seem like a slight or a deprecating statement but believe me it isn’t meant to be. If the fringes are either places where late night experiments, generic-splicing and the forced fusion of musical styles takes place or, at the other extremes, merely the creative treading of water to make music that requires rose tinted retro-spectacles to fully appreciate, then it is clear that he doesn’t belong in either. The ground between is where most music is made and, more crucially, where most records are sold and it is here that Repko belongs.

His well-honed pop-rock, as wonderfully exampled by Lately Baby, is a fine balancing act. It balances rock muscle and pop melodics, deft craftsmanship and mass appeal, energy and intricacy, it is exactly what mainstream pop-rock should be but normally isn’t. He is clever enough to swerve cliche and doesn’t deal in the obvious but still he is able to offer something that with the right tail wind and the right people championing his cause, could quickly see him becoming a permanent fixture in the mainstream consciousness.

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