With today’s music scene escalating into an ever-expanding number of sub-genres, it seems a little risky to invade a style that’s already been done many, many times over. Then again, if you think you can capture a genre differently (and better presumably) than anyone else, why not try it? Hailing from the New York City area, twenty-four-year-old Scott Daly decided to do just that. As the main, and basically only, man of Arms and Legs, Daly dives into the pool of acoustic folksy pop that arguably does not need more artists, with their debut full length Arms and Legs.
Now before you write this off as completely negative, let me say that I do enjoy this genre. It may not be at the very top of my list, but it’s definitely on my list. The album begins with “Little Things,” a cute and relatively simple track with only vocals and what sounds like a ukulele. The melodies flow well, and Daly’s vocals sound a lot like Elliott Smith. The song is enjoyable, but I can’t help but think that I’ve heard these same progressions from an old Beatles song. The next track, “Dreamers Do,” switches to a regular acoustic guitar, although there may be two guitars layered over each other. The melodies are plain, but work well with the song’s structure.
The rest of the ten-song album sticks to this style pretty well. Most of the songs have the same tonal feel to them, even if they are different melodies. The addition of drums on “Alice” and piano on “Bars All Closed” help a little bit on their respective tracks in changing up the pace, but the music rarely gets intense or ventures into cross-genre territory. Don’t get me wrong, not all music has to be eclectic and groundbreaking to be good; we all know that. But a little variation is always nice, and in this case, may be crucial to finding a unique niche.
All in all, this is not a bad release at all. It’s well recorded and well executed, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Scott Daly put a lot of effort into this particular musical endeavor. However, I can’t stop hearing Elliott Smith covering the Beatles in most of the songs; which just doesn’t do much for me. But perhaps the simplicity is what he’s going for. On a last note, I listened to a new track of his (not on this album), and it has a lot more potential than what I heard here. But Arms and Legs just doesn’t have enough originality to keep me coming back to it.
6.0 / 10
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