Kevin Devine - 2007 Tour EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Kevin Devine

2007 Tour EP (2007)


Kevin Devine offers up a nifty little EP for his 2007 summer touring schedule, and while it's overstuffed with covers and bogged down by a bit of a one-dimensional edge, it's a definitively solid offering that finds him writing some conventionally catchy and pleasant material.

Originals here include opener "Wolf's Mouth," "Joey" and an acoustic version of "You'll Only End Up Joining Them." The best of these is "Wolf's Mouth," which finds Devine slow-picking his guitar at first and some more semi-full-band stuff kicking in later. "Joey" is okay, with Devine breathily singing over just his guitar in his most basic setup, while "You'll Only End Up" is a fair closer.

The covers are definitely some of the standouts, though. In "Whatever (Some Folk Song in C)," Devine sounds like the ghost of Elliott Smith when he nails the line "I haven't wanted to do anything for a loooong time" -- it's seriously eerie. Devine's voice is soft and affecting in "Harvest Moon"; he might not be Neil Young, but the lush acoustics fill the track well and Devine's impassioned enough to make the track hit hard. His version of Pedro the Lion's "The Longer I Lay Here" seems to drag a little though. Neutral Milk Hotel's "Holland, 1945" is given some lovely treatment, however; the song nails the opening "1, 2, 1-2-3-4" and fuzzy distortion, while Devine is more modest in his vocal delivery (though the song actually sounds inexplicably like Sleep Station, especially vocally).

2007 Tour EP provides both a good preview to Devine's live show and a decent document itself to tide fans over while he settles his label situation and prepares to eventually record his fifth full-length.