Athlete | The Getaway EP (EMI)

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cd_athlete.jpgOn the whole, this is a mellow one, kids; Vehicles and Animals is a long, long time ago, and not one we'll be soon revisiting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To whet our appetite for Black Swan, a full-length which drops in January, Athlete have given us The Getaway, a digital advance of their single ("The Getaway," natch) plus three other tracks, two of which appear (in slightly different forms) on the upcoming album. On the whole, this is a mellow one, kids; Vehicles and Animals is a long, long time ago, and not one we'll be soon revisiting.

First off, the EP version of "The Getaway" is presented as a radio mix (it's not all that much different than the non-radio mix). It's clearly AAA and lyrically sappy, but Potts' soothing voice feels familiar and comfortable, especially nice as he reaches for the high notes. Not that this isn't still a stadium song...

Next up, "Superhuman Touch" incorporates some programming (anyone else remember the horrible radio mix of "Hurricane"? In whose mind was that a good idea?), but it's a solid song, the best this EP has to offer. One can only hope the label recognizes this and releases "Superhuman Touch" as the second single; this is where Athlete begin to come alive.

Unfortunately, after this upbeat number, the EP takes a dive. Granted, this appearance of "Black Swan Song" is acoustic, unlike the one which appears on Black Swan, but still...it's a lighter-waving song and not much else. (And truthfully, the non-acoustic version isn't any more rocking.) Things stay sloooooow through the final track, "Wild Wolves," the only extra that doesn't appear on the forthcoming LP.

I hate to say it, but I must: Parenthood has taken the edge off Joel Potts' songwriting. Lyrically, the songs these days are introspective and uplifting rather than observant and reflective; it all begins to feel rather middle of the road and tired after a while. I'm sorry, Athlete, but we've grown apart. And yes, it is you, not me. C | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: James Blunt, Goo Goo Dolls, Mat Kearney

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