Listen Up: Wednesday, March 08, 2006
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Stephen Pointer

Sixes and Sevens (Self-released)

By Jeff Prince

Fort Worth native Stephen Pointer probably won’t be getting fame or fortune from Sixes and Sevens, his full-length debut, but the recent Texas Christian University graduate has made it plain that he’s a Texas Music singer-songwriter with potential. His vocals are strong and searing, he knows how to incorporate a hook, and this self-produced effort shows he can carry his music into a studio and maintain a live feeling while creating a professional product. He’s an excellent rhythm and lead guitarist, and he’s nabbed another six-string ringer in former Collin Herring sideman Austin Barker, whose blazing licks provide some extra edge to the music. Individually, any song on this album could fit in a country music radio format and hold its own. Collectively, however, the songs undermine themselves.

Time and experience should eventually provide Pointer with the elements most obviously missing on this project — performance dynamics and descriptive lyrics. Angst-ridden pronouncements of heartbreak and loneliness littered with pain and rain and being down and out and such, the songs start to sound the same after awhile. Nothing feels more right to a young artist than writing and singing about broken hearts, but savvy bands understand that poignant torment must be tempered by wit and unique approaches to storytelling, or the music can devolve into a depressing one-trick pony.

Pointer also appears to have given little thought to pacing. One mid-tempo country-power ballad after another becomes overwhelming, until the listener is utterly ashamed to find himself longing for a remake of “Brown Eyed Girl” or “Good Vibrations” or anything but another crying-in-your-beer lament. Pointer obviously has the desire, passion, and talent to command a stage or studio. He just needs to diversify his approach and lighten up a little. Well, a lot.


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