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December 12, 2011 / jhsaeger

Kevin Devine Walks in the Clouds

   Singer-songwriterKevin Devine’s sixth solo album, Between The Concrete & Clouds caps a busy year forthe Brooklyn-based recording artist.  Released in September, theten-track record is the 32 year-old’s first effort with a full-time backing bandand third trip to the studio this year.

 In March, Devine released a split seven-inch vinyl with RiverCity Extension to mark their SXSW venture.  On his side of the seven-inchwere the soon-to-be title track “Between the Concrete and Clouds” anda melodic cover of Tom Petty’s “Walls.”  Devine also released anelectrifying rendition of Nirvana’s Nevermind on his website as a freedownload to mark the landmark record’s 20th Anniversary.  
    Devine and his newly-minted Goddamn Band created an album which mostlybrings forward their talents with songwriting and melody, only dropping theoccasional burst of guitar play to lend a change of pace to the LP.  Whilea pleasant listen, Between The Concrete & Cloud does tend to be a bit repetitive.  Some of itsfinest moments come when Devine strays from his role as singer-songwriter andlets the Goddamn Band bleed into the songs a bit.  
    Thefirst track on Between The Concrete & Clouds, “Off-Screen” was perfectlyplaced to jumpstart the record.  Devine quietly begins the song withseveral verses that are placed against a subdued, yet screeching guitarscapebefore building up into “Off-Screen’s” explosive chorus.  Therecord’s title track, “Between the Concrete and Clouds,” is among themore provocative set of lyrics on the album.  The song tells the story ofa middle-aged person who is at a crossroads after a series of poor decisionsbased on “someone else’s lies.”
   Devine, who cut the collaborative EP Bad Books with indie rock band ManchesterOrchestra in 2010, has toured extensively over the last few years as a soloartist. A frequent opener for Brand New, Nada Surf, and Manchester Orchestra,Devine falls in the same musical mold as his indie brethren.

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