Andy Stochansky
100
(Maple)
With Five Star Hotel, Stochansky displayed a knack for small pop gems that were both clever and catchy. With no ambition to reinvent the wheel, his songs resembled a sturdy chair you could relax in for a spell. However, with Johnny “Goo Goo Doll” Rzeznik producing, Stochansky now sounds a little uncomfortable with the understated modesty routine. Too bad, because 100 ditches smarts for cookie-cutter structure and lyrical predictability: “You make the world sing/What a beautiful thing”—notice how those lyrics rhyme? “House of Gold” resembles the melodramatic ’98 smash “Iris,” complete with breathy vocals and tacky strings, while the bombastic “America” actually makes you want to hear U2’s “Vertigo” instead!
—Todd Chapman

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