Devin Davis

  • Devin Davis
  • Lonely People of the World, Unite! (Mousse) 2005 

Singer/songwriter Devin Davis painstakingly created his debut by his lonesome self in his Chicago bedroom, playing all the instruments, adding whimsical elements (like the fake-bootleg ending on “The Choir Invisible”) and then bringing the results to a real studio for polishing and culling. In songs like “The Choir Invisible,” “Transcendental Sports Anthem,” “Moon Over Shark City” and “Iron Woman,” ’70s rock bravado (like that of fellow Illinoisans Cheap Trick) mixes with Magnetic Fields-type constructions that vary from the baroque to the plaintive to all-out cock rock. Picture Marc Bolan fronting Neutral Milk Hotel. Bucking the alt-bedroom trend, Lonely People of the World, Unite! is closer to arena rock than laptop pop. The basic theme is loneliness but, rather than tell a specific story, the album offers a detailed landscape painting with characters that either fade into the distance or follow you with their eyes as you move around the room. Each track sets up for the next, and there’s not a bad one in the bunch. Davis’ voice is too reminiscent of Ray Davies (particularly on “Paratrooper With Amnesia”) to not draw comparisons to the late ’60s Kinks, but that’s no complaint. A slight lack of depth in his delivery is, but the overall achievement far outshines that. Recommended.

[Jay Pattyn]