steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

The More or The Less

"We, the People" CD

Lindo Rec.

Genre: singer / songwriter

Salzburg, Austria

January 2010

One can expect competently produced and written singer/songwriter pop on this effort from Austria of all places. The lyrics and liner notes are in English, however, and the entire affair could just as easily have been recorded in the USA, from a stylistic perspective. Tobias Pötzelsberger deserves substantial credit for the work he's put into We, the People - these songs have been carefully arranged, and are remarkably melodic and lush. The fact remains, however, that this disc lacks originality -- it busies itself with delicate pop tunes rife with acoustic guitar and strings, but never moves past light coffeeshop fare.

Still, within the realm in which it operates, We, the People succeeds unequivocally. I have to admit that even I enjoy this ten-track enterprise, despite my preference for less conventional artforms. Pötzelsberger is a flatly likeable musician - his voice is polished and smooth in a Jack Johnson sort of way, and he has a gift for curling little stories into his lyrics, as on infectious (if sordid) character study "Ms Anderson" (see the video below). The songs tread the same ground as mainstream singer/songwriters, though one can also sense the fingerprints of Elliot Smith and Nick Drake on many of these songs. At the record's better moments, Pötzelsberger's songs are potently catchy -- as on mellow "How to Lose the War" and polished "Concerning Words & Heats" -- even if others amount to filler ("As Seen By the Things," "I Let You Go," "The Ukelele Song"). Ultimately, We, the People is far from a game-changer, but it's a decent stroll that operates ably within its limits.

the more or the less' myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]