Singer-songwriter Jon Regen's songs are solid, if not terribly inspired. Accompanying himself on piano and Hammond organ with Jonathan Sanborn on bass and Eric Addeo on drums, Regen plays charts that sound much like stripped down Bruce Hornsby arrangements. His lyricscovering love, lost love, love for one's child and the troubadour's obligatory lament about touringare heavy on the rhymes and only occasionally clever or surprising. Given all that, it might seem that Almost Home
, Regen's new disc, would be easy to pass over.
But one factorindeed, the key factormakes the album worth a spin: Regen is a quality singer. This is not an assessment of his technical ability, but an accolade for the sheer listenability of his voice. Presented straight-up with little if any electronic aid and sparse backup vocals (provided by Regan himself when they are present), Regan's voicerich, a touch smoky, invitingelevates the material from catchy-but-commonplace to catchy-and-cool. Provided with better music and lyrics, Regen's voice might carry him a long, long way.
Personnel: Jon Regen: vocals, piano, Hammond organ; Jonathan Sanborn: bass; Eric Addeo: drums