Wayne Petti City Lights Align

Wayne Petti City Lights Align
This first solo album from Cuff The Duke’s principal singer/songwriter has all the markings of what fans might expect from such a project: more introspection and musical simplicity. While this is indeed the case, Petti’s undisputed talents ultimately make City Lights Align anything but a self-indulgent diversion. Furthermore, placing himself in this stripped-down context should also finally earn Petti a place amongst Canada’s more respected songwriters. Becoming respectable may not be one of his goals but there’s no denying that City Lights Align brims with a mature confidence that Paul Westerberg didn’t find until the Replacements were over. There are also snatches of Springsteen’s Nebraska in the heavily echoed desperation of the first few tracks, "Falling Behind,” "Moment By Moment,” and "Price To Pay.” But eventually the album settles into an easy, acoustic, country pop groove, exemplified in "Up On The Hillside.” If there’s anything to criticise it’s that Petti’s voice is still a little thin but this is most often overcome by his engaging, and sometimes brutally honest, lyrics. City Lights Align, while perhaps a tentative first step outside of his comfort zone, is a giant leap forward for Petti’s artistic growth. (Outside)