A lot of contemporary pop musicians rely on overly clever lyrics and pulsating dance beats to get their point across, but that’s not the case with Western Massachusetts based singer- songwriter Seth Glier. Glier, who received a Grammy nomination for his 2011 release “The Next Right Thing,” is more interested in connecting with his audience rather than embracing the newest trend. On his latest release If I Could Change One Thing his fourth for the MPress label, Glier has made a pop album that is full of catchy songs yet still conveys a genuine sense of emotion.
Produced by Bill Lefler (Ingrid Michaelson, Dashboard Confessional) the majority of the 12 tracks here explore themes of love lost and found. The title track is a touching ballad on which Glier duets with American Idol alum, Crystal Bowersox. Glier’s smooth tenor blends beautifully with Bowersox’s crystalline voice as the song explores the regrets one faces when a relationship comes undone. “Lift You Up,” another break-up song, is about the need to walk away from a situation despite having given your all. Then there’s “You Wear It Well,” about a long married couple sitting down for their final meal together. In interviews Glier has said the song is about his parents recent divorce. While this all sounds rather somber, “If I Could Change One Thing,” is actually a very upbeat listen.
A song like”Electricity” with its pounding tom toms and humming synthesizers is the kind of feel good song that will have you singing along. “Fall Alone” with its irresistible hand claps and buoyant chorus is also hard to resist. Lefler’s production is impeccable as he moves Glier away from the more acoustic based sounds of his earlier work into pop radio friendly territory.
Another standout track is “Love is a Language,” inspired by Glier’s non-verbal autistic brother, this is an incredibly infectious tune that explores the power to communicate without words. It also benefits from Joe Nerney’s sinewy sax solo. Nerney is a 62- year -old blind man who is Glier’s touring partner, despite their age difference (Glier is 26) the two have an amazing musical chemistry and the sax player manages to elevate every track he appears on. If I Could Change One Thing, finds Glier moving forward with a sound that will win over new listeners but all will also appeal to those who enjoyed his previous work.