CTS

Sentimental Journey
(New Circle Entertainment)

After seeing CTS live, I was impressed by the musicianship and the band's earnest approach to gimmick-less rock songwriting. There's nothing trailblazing in the tunes here, but fans of artists like the Gin Blossoms and John Mayer will appreciate the deftness with which CTS recycles the rock paradigm — soaring guitar solos, danceable beats, gritty vocals, and carefully crafted compositions abound on this 12-track album. Highlights include the leadoff track, "Can't Get Off This Train," a radio-friendly, hard-edged pop song with rock hooks; "Why Couldn't We," a shuffling, bluesy tune; "Too Good to Be Real," a breathy ballad decorated with jangling guitar hooks; and "Sound of Freedom," an emotive tribute to the troops that garnered the band a letter of appreciation from George W. Bush.

 
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