If Evan Meulemans' excellent new album, "Lilac Drive," only contained the opening track, "Wisconsin," it would be great — it would leave you wanting more. But the song has a beautiful build-up that leads into the down-stroke guitar joy of the next cut, "Some of My Time," a tune that glows with sunshine-y pop.
The whole album, 10 tracks in all, is optimistically mellow but in no way a downer. "Lilac Drive" ebbs and flows with a solid footing and a rock 'n' roll feel without the volume. Meulemans' voice is hard to nail down. Is he a baritone? Is he a tenor? His vocal style is strident yet melodious as the words articulately spill out. The whole affair is produced with a gentle albeit steady hand.
The guests — like producer Dave Drago and singers Susanna Rose and Jon Lewis, to name a precious few — add to this are plugged in sparingly and appropriate. This is predominantly an acoustic record with the music serving at the pleasure of the storied songs that come off with the catharsis of intimate pages being torn from a diary. It sounds like autumn.