Richard Swift, 'The Atlantic Ocean' (Secretly Canadian)

Critical Mass
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by Jon Young

One track on Richard Swift's fourth album iscoproduced by Mark Ronson (of Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen renown), raising some suspicions that this singer-songwriter craves a larger audience. And why not? His peppy keyboard pop, combining melodies that Elton John would envy with a gently sardonic voice that oozes regret, is tailor-made for mass consumption; yet he's so smart that you never regret loving every note. In any case, the sad sacks who populate such bitterly funny songs as "Already Gone" and "R.I.P." linger in the mind long after the toe-tapping grooves have faded.

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