Review: Man in a Crowd – Don’t Paint Your Days So Gray (2012)

By Ryan G

For a person that typically stays away from country music, reviewing this album was treading very close to that line for me. The official genre of New York’s Man in a Crowd is indie rock / Americana. I suppose with my liking of folk groups like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers it was only a matter of time before bands in Man in a Crowd’s sphere began infiltrating the sound-waves in my vicinity. While I’m still getting used to the sound, I can say that Man in a Crowd accomplishes their goal well. That is, their goal is to provide some fun listening to multiple audiences. The cross-appeal of this band is strong, but they are still not for everyone.

Like I said, the “listen-to-everything-but-country” crowd may be a bit harder to win over. With the twang in happy-go-lucky sounding “Wine and Excuses” some people may be inclined to shut the record off. Most, however will find it enjoyable.



“Stuck,” more of a jam-rock song in the vein of Moe. or indie reggae/rock group Lionize is a good song for a new fan to start with. It eases you into the Americana sound, with plenty more indie rock to go around. Rhodes make an appearance (hence the Lionize reference). Rhodes may be one of the most unlikely versatile instruments. The prominent ambient alt-rock group MUTEMATH uses them extensively in Odd Soul – but I digress. Diversity continues in the Fleet Foxes sounding “Make a Change,” and “Like the World is Ending” instrumentally sounds like a remix of Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life.” This is probably personal preference, but for me the best part of the album is in the middle. However, I find this to be a refreshing deviation from the norm (highlights include “Wake Up” and “A Little Too Far”). Much like the album started, “Tides” ends the album with twang, albeit in a more subdued form. The balance of the meat of the album is all over the aforementioned spectrum. The plus side is that with an audience as wide as Man in a Crowd is likely to appeal to,  people’s favorites will be spread evenly among the 12 songs on the record. What won’t be debatable however is the well-interwoven male and female harmonies and the objective musical talent of the band. While it may take awhile to affirm their musical identity, Man in a Crowd has certainly released a promising debut.

Score: 3.5/5

Man in a Crowd: Official | Facebook

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