Album: Gabe Dixon, One Spark (Concord/Fantasy)

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The Independent Culture

Having served time in McCartney's band, and more latterly with Supertramp, Gabe Dixon clearly has a penchant for stylish adult pop, an inclination he's reinforced on this solo debut by co-writing the songs with former members of Snow Patrol and Deacon Blue.

The results reflect the careful approach suggested by such associations: standout track "Strike" is cultured piano-pop with overtones of Ben Folds, but elsewhere the chintzy anthemic motifs strive a touch too hard for a place in one's heart. "Lucky to Be Lost" most glaringly betrays his Macca apprenticeship, while "Holiday" attempts the kind of clever-dick, jazz-inflected pop that only Steely Dan have managed to render palatable. Worst of all is "Running on Fumes", ersatz reggae whose simpering Caribbean vacation sensibility makes Sting seem like some full-blown rasta by comparison.

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