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Kicklighter - Paper Planes, Vol. 1

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There is much to love about Kicklighter, which is the name Everett Young has given his project. Not only does he call Prefab Sprout as an influence (and a criminally underappreciated 80s band), but he even names one song "Howard Jones."

Paper Planes, vol. 1 (there's also a vol. 2 in the can) includes truly beautiful sounds. Alex Rodiek's trumpet on "A Week of Rain," for example, is especially lovely. Young sings these eleven songs with a sweet, airy vocal style that is as expressive as it is easy on the ears. Sure, in some spots it veers a little towards yacht rock. However, there's also much good to be said about 70s soft-rock, and Kicklighter draws much of what's good about that period's music but avoids the lame stuff.

One called "Bittersweet" is just that, both musically and lyrically, as Young writes biographically. While trumpet colors "A Week of Rain," a fuller horn section augments "Four-leaf Clover." There's a brightness to these songs that lift them above the dark clouds that too often color contemporary music. This world could really use more Kicklighter music right about now.

Kicklighter - Paper Planes, Vol. 1
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