Much of the appeal of Bob Evans (aka Kevin Mitchell) lies in his ability to send the mind tottering down memory lane, whether it be blurry 18th parties or getting kicked out of biology class.

No matter how many bands he plays with or pseudonyms he occupies, Mitchell’s nasally delivery means that, for many of us (unfairly or otherwise), he’ll always be that lovable rogue crooning about harpoons and leaving home.

Initially, this nostalgic wave rolls seamlessly into his fourth solo LP, Familiar Stranger. Coupled with its bright, harmony-heavy production, the album proves an easy listening affair and a handy companion to an ever-so-slightly warm summer of ‘13.

Unfortunately, there’s very little left to latch onto after the third or fourth spin. Too many of the tunes – ‘Go’, ‘Get It Together’ – bank their hook on an overly obvious riff or harmony flourish.

When it works, it works deliciously. It’s hard to grow tired of swooning flute that dives in and out of the wonderful ‘Bruises’. The same applies for launch single ‘Don’t Wanna Grow Up Anymore’ with its jangling keys and syncopated strumming.

These singles aside, there’s little to diversify the album or break it out of its ‘verse/chorus/repeat’ holding pattern. Although there’s a wash of pleasantness in the likes of ‘Sitting In The Waiting Room’ and ‘Maps’, there’s an equal sense of formality and inoffensiveness.

Prior to the album’s release Mitchell spoke of the difficulties he had in concluding the album. It’s a pity these demons seem to have have stunted the diversity and scope of Familiar Stranger, too.

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