3/5 Singer- songwriter Chris Townsend’s list of influences reads like the lighter end of the OC soundtrack; Gavin DeGraw, John Mayer and Jeff Buckley. It’s hardly surprising then, that this is exactly what his debut single Radio sounds like. Due for release on February 25th, Radio is the kind of introspective acoustic pop that teenage girls and “please hold” call centres go crazy for. It’s likeable, catchy and easy to sing along to. Townsend has a pleasing voice and the song’s feel-good factor adds its own appeal. Sadly, Townsend’s ability as a performer isn’t matched by his abilities as a songwriter. Radio gets off to a promising start, but stutters after the first chorus, leaving the listener with the distinct impression that they’ve heard this all somewhere before. The passion palpable in Townsend’s (rather clichéd) lyric, “turn on your radio, let music fill your life” is almost ruined by its incessant repetition throughout the song, and there’s a rather embarrassing series of “oh yeahs” towards the end. If acoustic pop’s your thing, then Townsend’s offering is definitely worth a listen. Just don’t expect to be blown away.

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