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Augustana started out brilliantly with “All the Stars and Boulevards.” However, it was an album that was less enduring as a brilliant debut album and more lasting as a first record with hits perfect for the adult radio market. They crushed that market with “Boston” and they won over a lot of people with those great singles from that album. It was a successful debut. After that, the band returned with “Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt” and made an album that felt complete and was a great listen. But it also felt like it was the band’s tribute to Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Record number three for Augustana is a self-titled album and fittingly so. This Augustana feels like THE Augustana album. There’s no mirror comparison to an influence, instead there’s an album that feels like a band grew and matured over two records to make it. The point is this doesn’t feel like Dan Layus and Augustana performing songs influenced by Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. This is Dan Layus and Augustana performing Augustana songs. Moreover, this album wasn’t recorded in one studio with one producer, but because the songwriting here is so good it feels like it was. That’s not a major accomplishment to most, but for this album to hit perfectly lyrically and musically and achieve that is huge. Honestly it shouldn’t have happened and it did. Alternative Addiction visitors have heard “Shot in the Dark” and “Steal Your Heart” and those are single worthy songs, but the true successes here are the album tracks. They’re all fantastic. There’s not a song on here that’s not enjoyable. The lone criticism with this self-titled album is that there’s not anything upbeat here. “Shot in the Dark” is the closest thing to it. That’s the only thing that could keep this record from being as enduring to fans of the band as the other two. Augustana made an Augustana album with album number three. After you listen to this album you’ll walk away feeling that this is the album that this band was meant to grow into and make. It’s a great listen and that they managed to accomplish it in today’s climate is no small task.


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