Between a good and a great album

Kevin Devine has had a pretty busy year: Late in 2010, he collaborated with Manchester Orchestra and released an album under the name Bad Books.  Now he’s released his sixth solo album, “Between the Concrete and the Clouds.”

This album is a little different from his past efforts.  Previous albums did not have such a populated feel and were full of simpler songs that mostly featured an acoustic guitar. However, on this album, Devine seems to have picked up some tricks from Manchester Orchestra.  He’s added more instrumentation, which gives this record a soft indie-rock feel. But not everything has changed.  On top of the new instrumentation, Devine is still singing with his distinctive voice. His croon is what keeps this feeling like a Kevin Devine album, and it sounds just as good as his previous ones.

“Between the Concrete and the Clouds” might not have been exactly what was expected, but the best albums rarely are.  Kevin Devine has done well and has changed enough to keep his sound fresh, but not enough to completely overhaul it.  The result is a rather good album, though not his best.

Key Tracks: “Between the Concrete and the Clouds,” “Awake in the Dirt” and “The City Has Left You Alone”