Though Impact; Woven is a relatively new band, the guys have already developed an accessible sound on The Meaningless Truth. The album opens with "Hors d'oeuvre," a jammy, rollicking song featuring some stellar guitar playing. Too bad the song's lyrics about having faith in what's real are so abstract. The band finds a much better balance on "Phantoms," where singer Steve Lull — whose constricted delivery often recalls Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis' — delivers a particularly strong performance. The rest of the songs follow a similar pattern — pairing left-of-center lyrics with catchy, pop-oriented music. — Julia Kazar
Bob Fraser and Ki Allen
Ki Allen's sensual voice mixes nicely with Bob Fraser's acoustic guitar on this collection of covers and original tunes by two mainstays of the Cleveland jazz scene. The two have a connection that produces a very simple, sleek sound. Songs like "Wild Is the Wind" and "I Concentrate on You" go for a blues vibe and pull it off, and their renditions of "Over the Rainbow" and "The Best Is Yet to Come" flow perfectly. "Nonetheless," an original song with lyrics by Allen's mother, finds Ki singing, "Got me feeling young again, like I'm dancing in the rain every time you look at me." The song is so beautiful, you hope Allen continues to use her mom as a lyricist. — Amy Booker
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