Pat Ortman The Wow Signal

Pat Ortman’s last album hit the top of the charts. The Amazon.com chart. Or to be more precise, the indie alternative rock chart. Still, I suppose number one is number one, no matter where and for how long. The Wow Signal, his second album, takes its name from the best signal ever picked up by a radio telescope that was interpreted as evidence for extraterrestrial life, but there’s no one song here that jumps out in a similar fashion. Instead, it is the theme of the album, with the songs documenting how everyone in life is searching for something, making it somewhat of a concept album. Fortunately, for the most part, it doesn’t collapse under its own weight and there’s nothing that could be described as being unpleasant. But most of it is pretty average and despite a guest spot by Mick Fleetwood and a few decent songs, The Wow Signal is almost wholly unremarkable. I expect it’ll end up at the top of some chart though. (Empty Street)