Short Cuts

On Little Private Angel (from the tiny Urbana, Illinois, Parasol label), Logan's husky baritone no longer bobs and weaves around the music; here it's gift-wrapped in Kimbell's honey-tongued harmonies. The minor-key melodies still suggest Neil Young (the slow, wobbly "Nerves of Steel" suggests Young's druggy "Winterlong" period), yet there's also an unabashedly romantic strain to the warmth of such lines as "You're gonna live in the future/It's gonna be fun."

As aging college-town cult stars honing their craft rather than redefining it, Logan and Kimbell have earned the right to keep their musical ambitions modest. The future may be fun, but it's unlikely to bring success. Whether calmly ruing the wedding day of a girlfriend who slipped away ("Rained Like Hell") or recounting a moment of Sunday softball glory ("Frozen Rope"), it's all easy come, easy go to these guys.

-- Mark Rosen

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