February 22, 2007

Alternate Routes Takes Well Paved Road

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The chorus of “Ordinary,” the first song on Alternate Routes’ Good and Reckless and True, goes: “Would you love, could you love to be ordinary?” Shortly after listening, it is clear that this band is pretty ordinary. Lead singer Tim Warren carries the band with his mellifluous voice, which is almost too sweet. In fact, almost everything about this band is too sweet, too perfect or too good. The verse melody of “Ordinary” eerily mirrors U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name,” and Warren does a good Ryan-Adams-doing-James-Taylor imitation on “The Black and the White.” “California” is not quite Jet’s “Shine On,” and “Time is a Runaway” is not the Fray’s “How to Save a Life,” but it sure is confusing — these tunes are destined to be Popular Radio hits. With this polished record — derivative and safe — Alternate Routes are driving on the clearest paved road to success.