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Once Around

Once Around

by The Autumn DefenseThe Autumn Defense


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The Autumn Defense's self-titled third album, released in 2007, sounded as if it could have been the best West Coast soft rock album of 1970. By contrast, the group's fourth LP, Once Around, would have bubbled under the Top Ten for 1971; it's still the product of a pair of very gifted musicians with plenty of worthwhile ideas, but it's never as strong and compelling a piece of work. John Stirratt and Patrick Sansone, who write the songs and oversee the floating team of musicians who comprise the Autumn Defense, seem to have lost nothing in terms of their grasp on their craft on Once Around; the musicianship is first-rate, the production is almost perfectly attuned to the nuances of the band's chosen style, and Stirrat's vocals (as well as his harmonies with Sansone) are marvelous. But craft doesn't always equal inspiration, and Once Around doesn't boast the sort of songs that come to life the same way as the melodies on The Autumn Defense, and while all 11 tracks sound good, very little stands out the way that album's highlights did. There are exceptions -- the slightly angular "Every Day" adds an edge to its downcast beauty, and the uptempo drive of "The Swallows of London Town" gives the album a shot of energy it sorely needs. But too much of Once Around is caught in a gentle, midtempo loop that's lovely without being as magnetic or emotionally stirring as Stirratt and Sansone's best work, and while plenty of groups mining the influences of '70s pop would be thrilled to make an album as accomplished as Once Around, the Autumn Defense can and have done better, and for all its strengths, this disc is pleasant, tuneful, and something of a letdown. Better luck in 1972, guys.

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Product Details

Release Date: 11/02/2010
Label: Yep Roc Records
UPC: 0634457222922
catalogNumber: 2229
Rank: 178896


  1. Back of My Mind
  2. Allow Me
  3. Tell Me What You Want
  4. Huntington Fair
  5. Once Around
  6. The Rift
  7. The Swallows of London Town
  8. Step Easy
  9. Don't Know
  10. Every Day
  11. There Will Always Be a Way

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Autumn Defense   Primary Artist
Brad Jones   Bass,Guest Appearance
Chris Carmichael   Strings,Violin,Cello,Viola,Guest Appearance
Glenn Kotche   Percussion,Triangle,Guest Appearance
John Pirruccello   Pedal Steel Guitar,Slide Guitar,Guest Appearance
Jonathan Wilson   Electric Guitar,Guest Appearance
Nicholas Photinos   Cello,Guest Appearance

Technical Credits

John Stirratt   Composer
Chris Carmichael   Engineer
Mike Napolitano   Engineer
Sean O'Keefe   Engineer
Pat Sansone   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Art Direction,Cover Photo
Josh Shapera   Engineer

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