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Album review

Gavin DeGraw 

Sweeter Live

added: 10 Dec 2012 // release date: 3 Dec 2012 // label: Sony Music
reviewer: David Spencer

Gavin DeGraw - Sweeter Live - Printable version
Live albums have always been a difficult thing. Apart from the odd exception (Neil Young’s Weld or U2’s Under a Blood Red Sky for example) they never fully capture the mood and atmosphere of a concert and more often than not they are a treat for loyal fans only. It is probably wise therefore that American singer Gavin DeGraw says he wanted to give his fans a thank you for supporting him on his US tour and the aim of this album seems to be purely that.

DeGraw is another in a long list of American artists that have little more than a cult UK following, which is surprising given the accessibility of his power pop sound. Perhaps he hasn’t had the Jason Mraz ‘I’m Yours’ moment yet, to launch a more global career. Generally he is best known for TV drama One Tree Hill, which used his single I Don’t Want To Be as the theme song.

That song is included here, amongst 11 tracks taken from across three of his four albums, including last year’s Sweeter. Largely the tracks are performed as per the recording, with the band caught in fine form while on tour in California. Crush, Chariot and Follow Through are amongst the highlights, as well as more recent tracks Soldier and Not Over You, which features a guest appearance from support act Colbie Caillat.

There is also a short cover of I Need A Dollar, which features one of a few cheeky little chats that DeGraw has with the crowd, which underline his charm, especially where he talks about early relationships and “shaking your booty”. All this adds to the fun but if you are new to DeGraw you would obviously do better checking out his studio albums.


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4 stars

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