David Spencer | Record Review | Indy Week
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David Spencer 

Love Like A Symphony
(self-released)

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Until last year, David Spencer was one of two principal songwriters in SpencerAcuff, a Chapel Hill quintet that traded in pop-rock helmed by a sense of Southern-bred honesty. Even at its most polished, SpencerAcuff still felt like a band making a group effort. Love Like a Symphony—Spencer's self-released, Nashville-produced debut—leaves that quality behind, trading everything for a slick studio gloss. It treats Coldplay anthems ("Candleblast"), domestic counterpart The Fray ("On Top of All the Lights," "Crossroads") and pop-covered country as equal marketing tools. Its pop-rock focus centers around the able voice of a singer-songwriter, but the album attempts to build a band sound where one doesn't exist. Instead, Spencer's songs—mostly about being stranded by his feelings and trying to atone with people he's hurt—come crowded with chopped digital textures. Delay, reverb and chorus flank his voice; guitars crisscross in empty textural passes; cuts and transitions are too perfect. It's a look that could get Spencer's songs in movies (indeed, there's a "film and TV placement" contact listed in the liner notes), but it's going to need a little more personality than a computer can offer to stand out.

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