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Tom Wehrle
Room To Dream
Espy Records
www.tomwehrle.com


Tom Wehrle's sophomore effort Room To Dream denotes music for the optimistic and the dreamer at heart. The follow up to his debut release Something You Can't Find is a musical oasis of folk-pop valances and misty vocal resonance that's a cross between Jack Johnson and Maroon 5, giving folk-laden wanderings an upbeat pop surge. He is a proficient songwriter akin to Diane Warren and Veruca Salt's Nina Gordon, which allows his songs to be flexible, fitting in with folk-pop, alternative country, soft rock, and indie pop. He is a songwriter's songwriter with the skills for dressing the interlocking thoughts of his lyrics in an array of textures and time signatures, but no matter where he takes the music it is always thermostat for an adult contemporary climate.

The folk twinges in the pop insignias on "Far Away," "My Heart Breaks Through" and "I'm Not Good Enough" offer lukewarm guitar tones and cozy rocking back and forth bass motions. The melodic lines are conducive to one another and are compassed to follow a sanguine leitmotif. Wehrle engineers mid-tempo numbers like the exhilarating vibes injected into "I've Fallen," the Beatles-esque consonance of "Without You" augmented by peppy horns and esprit rhythms, and the stylish pop embellishments adorning the title track which showcase a Maroon 5 sensibility. Wehrle also purveys dexterity in mixing up the time signatures like in the track "Hold On Tonight" starting the tempo soft with loosely wrung beats and then injecting it with intervals of intensified flourishes. The evolvement of beats has a Nick Lachey juggle as Wehrle jostles between soft frequencies and torrential outpours.

Wehrle's soft side includes dollops of piano melodies which have a Fiona Apple-like cavalier shown on tracks like "I Will Be Your Friend," "This Show's Over," and "No More Flowers", which has laces of breezy horns and comfy snare drum taps. His pop/rock tunes like "Just In Love With You" and "Only Lonely" are upbeat with sections of jumping vocal strides and pulsating rhythms enlivening the melody's folk base. The soft folk-pop number "Nothing Else Can Take Your Place" drifts with a coasting rate as Wehrle unlocks his thoughts into lyrical forms like, "I see you everywhere and nothing can compare to you/ I know you'll always be because nothing else can take your place with me." Wehrle taps into locked up thoughts and releases them as lyrics for his songs.

Tom Wehrle's proficiency as a songwriter is reflective of The Wallflowers, Jack Johnson, Natalie Merchant, and Aimee Mann. His folk and soft rock immersions have a pop rigging. The music has easy mobility and melodic inclinations. It is best suited for an adult contemporary audience who like a little Maroon 5 spring in their usual music java.

-Susan Frances

Track Listing:
1. Far Away
2. I've Fallen
3. I Will Be Your Friend
4. Without You
5. Hold On Tonight
6. Room To Dream
7. Just In Love With You
8. No More Flowers
9. My Heart Breaks Through
10. I'm Not Good Enough
11. Only Lonely
12. Nothing Else Can Take Your Place
13.This Show's Over

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