N.A.P. – North American Poetry
His voice isn’t perfect nor is his instrumentation revolutionary, but the laid-back personality and style of Juan Wauters on his debut solo album more than make up for what he seemingly lacks. N.A.P. — North American Poetry is humorous, melancholic and catchy, but it always remains fresh.
The first couple of songs kick off the record in rollicking form, particularly with “Sanity or Not,” a truly fantastic number that will have you singing along after only the first listen.
Wauters’ greatest tracks are lively, brief and unbelievably easy to sing along to. Take “Woke Up Feeling Like Sleeping”— not even reaching two full minutes yet instantly memorable and supported by harmonizing throughout. Similarly, “Goo” is an amusing and peculiar ode to Wauters’s guitar playing ability.
Some tracks are even sung in Spanish, but this doesn’t make them any less exciting for the average listener.
The slower songs are hit-and-miss, but “Continue to Be You” features quirky guitar plucks and accentuates the affable oddities of Wauters’s voice. Unfortunately, none of the other gentler songs are as successful.
Two of the later tracks incorporate female vocalist Carmelle, albeit to mixed results. “Breathing” has rapid back-and-forth dialogue between Wauters and Carmelle, their folky twist on a classic duet. Conversely, “How Do They All Do?” is too slow, and among the first signs that Wauters might be running low on new ideas.
While some songs may be exceedingly better than others, N.A.P. is a fully fleshed-out album thanks to its brevity and likability.
Wauters could soon be one of the most unique and burgeoning new stars in the slacker-folk scene.
— Mac Gushanas
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