When Gavin DeGraw first hit more than a decade ago, he was part of a new generation of singer/songwriters. Along with artists like Michelle Branch, Jason Mraz, John Mayer and Howie Day, he helped balance the charts that were dominated heavily by hip-hop at that time. While Gavin’s biggest hit did come from that era, he’s one of the few of that period still putting out albums with singles that do respectively – up to 2013’s Best I Ever Had. It’s impressive considering what he’s up against with the music landscape an uphill battle for singer/songwriters and anything rock-flavoured. Gavin has adjusted to changes before, shifting slightly toward the sound that helped give Train and One Republic hits in the era of dance and electropop.
His sixth record Something Worth Saving is reminiscent of recent Adult Top 40 pop/rock hits, such as first single She Sets The City On Fire using the same in-your-face delivery as Andy Grammar’s annoying runaway smash from last year Honey I’m Good. It’s still familiar territory, which is perhaps more indicative that the genre has grown stale rather than Gavin himself, although there are few standout moments. He serves up attitude on the punchy How Lucky Can A Man Get and does his best Maroon 5 on New Love. It isn’t until the final two tracks that the album steps away from the norm with the 60s pop sound of Annalee and the closing piano ballad title track – the best offering on the record. It’s unfortunate that Gavin DeGraw hasn’t tapped into the soulful side of his voice that made his debut Chariot such a gem, as with each subsequent album release brings back the realization that his first album was likely a case of excellent timing.
1. She Sets The City On Fire
2. You Make My Heart Sing Louder
3. Kite Like Girl
4. Making Love With The Radio On
5. Harder To Believe
6. Say I Am
7. How Lucky Can A Man Get
8. New Love
10. Something Worth Saving