November 16, 2006

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Rich Schroder, Your Kind Words
Anova Records, 2006

On Monday, November 20, Riddle Tavern in Merrimack will host Boston alt-folkie Schroder, whose debut solo album isn't due for release until January whether or not the title track is already threatening to chart on college radio. A serial dues-payer who collected loose gun shell casings as a NYC boy living in Beirut, Schroder's had a business and a touring rock band explode in his face, motivating him simply to strap on an acoustic and leave no one but himself and writing partner/Bo Diddly-producer Ross Adams to blame if meltdown occurs. This is glossy stuff but not annoyingly so, inviting comparisons to Paul Simon, but it's pretty clear Schroder picked his nose to Everclear and Blur during his Nintendo days given the elbow-to-ribs-ness of his delivery. Certainly there are quadrajillions of well-coiffed beanpoles doing this in every cranny of New England, but the record is somehow as L.A. as a blind date with a transvestite; Schroder plays the role as if he'd thunk it up to begin with, busking effortlessly about what-comes-around-goes around ("The Repo Man"), the hopelessness of consumerism ("Retail Therapy") and being a moron ("Sorry That I'm Not the Home Depot Type"). B+
Eric W. Saeger