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Country-tinged power pop

Looking Back Ahead
Looking Back Ahead
By Clay Colton Band

Self-released: 2006

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This review first appeared in the July 27, 2006 issue of the North County Times.

Vista's Clay Colton Band specializes in power ballads with a country-tinged rock approach. The band's new album, "Looking Back Ahead," ranges from the anthemic "Roses Don't Mean a Thing" and "Little Feet" to the tender and sentimental "Daddy's Last Dance."

But the band also has the chops – and self-confidence – to knock out a spot-on cover of Neil Diamond's "Holly Holy" and take on an energetic reading of Dylan's much-covered "All Along the Watchtower."

Lead singer Colton wrote or co-wrote all the other songs here, and they are solid, melodic tunes that lend themselves well to his rich voice. The lyrics tell personal stories of modern living, from being a non-custodial parent to the natural, normal heartache of watching your kids grow up and leave the nest.

The four-piece band has a nice, relaxed groove to it, creating a solid foundation for Colton's vocals to soar above.