Toronto's Graham Nicholas writes songs you'd swear you've heard somewhere before. His uncluttered approach to songwriting and simple folk-rock arrangements are a refreshing antidote for an over-stimulated world. With a few albums under his belt, Dial Tones and Pretty Notes features plenty of storytelling songs full of country road imagery, paired with bright and jangly Traveling Wilburys-esque guitar, rounded out by great piano/organ playing.
With his charming, boy-next-door voice, and soft, gentle delivery, Nicholas never breaks a sweat on this record. His voice seems to float over each song, ranging from gentle and folky "Mountain Flower," to punchy earworm "When the Deal Goes Down," to "Weight of the World," a great rock'n'roll number showcasing Nicholas's mean falsetto. It may clock in at a full two minutes longer than a typical single, but it stands out as a real highlight of the album. (Independent)