Jay Nash has shared the stage with Sara Bareilles, but he’s more of a rocker than that association might suggest; rather than an earnest white boy straining for soul (a la John Mayer) or a pure pop smoothie (a la Jason Mraz), Nash has an authentically bluesy growl and a deep comfort with rootsy, dressed-down instrumentation. “Hard Lesson,” from Nash’s 2008 full-length release, The Things You Think You Need, sounds like it could have been cut by Anders Osborne in a particularly commercial mood. He’s a guy who can do more than one thing, in other words — which is what makes his new EP, All the Stars in Copenhagen, something of a disappointment. Five songs’ worth of tastefully placid, country-tinged rock ballads, Copenhagen shows only one side of Nash’s artistic personality — and even worse, it’s his least interesting side.
Make no mistake, none of Copenhagen‘s songs are bad; they’re just sort of dull, especially when taken together. You keep waiting for Nash to open things up and kick a little ass, or at least change things up a little, but it’s just one ballad after another. Maybe Copenhagen makes Nash sleepy. Any of these tracks would sound just fine as a bit of breathing room between uptempo numbers, but as an EP, they form a fairly ominous hint about where Nash might be heading for his next full-length effort. Here’s hoping this is merely a detour, and he just needed a little breather before turning up the amps again.
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