Colin Gilmore wants to do something you've never heard before, but in the process, he's let himself get distracted by everything that might help him sound different. Most of the songs on "Goodnight Lane" are filled to bursting with clever pop touches - check out the clever tom-tom and organ touches that fill Circles in the Yard or the harmonica and stop-start song break that buoy Black Vines. And while you can't help but admire the ambition, some of this icing on the cake distracts from the core of the songs.
Gilmore's vocals are distinctive - not quite his father's high, lonesome quiver, mind you - but they offer a reedy narration that makes you want to strain a little closer to the speaker to hear the lyrics.
Colin Gilmore seems torn - whether to stick with the roots of alt.-country or forge towards something shinier, poppier and ultimately more in keeping with the work of people like Wilco or Josh Ritter. We're looking forward to his next release, when he might have more of this dilemma worked out.