Devon Williams Carefree

On first listen, Devon Williams’ debut solo album, Carefree, seems quite the standard affair — a guy, a guitar, some quirky wordplay and a not-so-hidden love for ’80s new wave. By listen three or four however, what initially comes off as by-the-numbers gets under your skin, and in a good way. This former Osker punker turned Lavender Diamond guitar man pens the type of effortless three-minute pop songs that are just that: pop songs — nothing more, nothing less. This isn’t to say Williams is painfully plain and simplistic; his hooks are just not all that immediate, demanding a little time and patience before they reveal themselves. But once they do, they have a way of drawing you in, with Williams dropping complex melodic change-ups rarely heard in your typical indie fodder. By no means will Carefree change the face of rock’n’roll but it does make for a fine pop record, and there’s nothing wrong with that. (Ba Da Bing!)