Sound The Alarm - Stay Inside (2007)
Nice cover. Major label, mixed by Tom Lord-Alge. That's a clue right there.
The Verdict: Somebody somewhere loves this band. I guarantee they are younger than me and possibly on first name terms with the drummer. Competent, professional, and utterly uninspiring.
Ben Shive - The Ill-Tempered Klavier (2008)
Not sure what to expect with this one. No barcode, so maybe a local Nashville release.
The Verdict: Turns out Ben is a well known producer and keyboardist in CCM circles (Caedmon's Call, Andrew Osenga, etc.) The sound is polished and grounded, well crafted piano pop. I actually listened to this most of the way home. In the right mood, I really like this kind of music. He has a good voice. The first track is one of those "sad people" songs (like Fountains of Wayne) so I'm liking this.
Saucy Monky - Turbulence (2004)
This one was cheap and had bi-planes on the cover. I love bi-planes!
The Verdict: Girl driven pop-rock. Not terrible but didn't really grab me. Lots of tracks to choose from so maybe I just played the wrong ones. Seems a little precious.
Worthy download: Ben Shive - A Name, A Name, A Name
Download is low quality, for sampling purposes only. If you like it, buy it here.