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Album review: 'Picture Perfect' 

A Vintage Year

"Picture Perfect"


On its third album, "Picture Perfect," A Vintage Year expands on the racket contained in its previous two releases by adding a sense that the band is comfortable in its own skin. Backing it up is a musical chemistry that mixes innovative grunge deconstruction with the big time vocals of lead singer Joe Williams. While Williams wails in a style reminiscent of the late Scott Weiland, the rhythm section behind him delivers the punch.

Under the surface of "Picture Perfect," things aren't steady. The lyrical content across the album's seven songs is dark; songs about heists gone bad ("On Your Hands"), addiction ("Hypnagogic"), and bad relationships ("Ain't Right") get their points across in no time — plus the band is uprooting itself cross-country, which comes with its own complexity. On the album's final cut, "Crash Landing," Williams sings, "I'm the picture perfect poster child of what's going wrong." His sentiments are as grinding as the music that carries it.

Overall, the songwriting on "Picture Perfect" is an upgrade from the band's previous albums, despite the absence of a definitive track. A Vintage Year is made up of talented players, and there's no doubt the band will be at its best once the whole exceeds the sum of its parts.

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