As soon as Dawson’s Creek producers decide to move the show out West, they’ll have the perfect theme song for the opening credits from Benjamin Wagner.
It’s not as important which song they choose from Wagner’s Crash Site, since there’s little alteration between the eight pop-rock tunes that make up his first CD release.
Wagner’s whiny, country-twanged vocal style receives little support from melancholy acoustics and simple drums that accompany every track until the blend is exhaustive.
Track one, “Summer’s Gone,” opens the album with a broken Wagner lamenting the passing of the summer season and, consequently, the end of a fling with “Maggie.”
But, he quickly moves on to Elizabeth, the subject of track three, who has also done him wrong to the extent that he needs her to “deliver his soul” so that he can stop “taking my time hiding away.”
Sandwiched between the odes to ex-girlfriends is the title song “Crash Site,” which is remarkably similar to The Verve Pipe’s “Freshmen.”
The remaining five tracks on the CD get progressively more whiny and depressing, and the lyrics do a downward spiral in terms of complexity.
For example, in “Down,” track four, Wagner manages to spit out the word “down” 28 times before listeners get a break.
All in all, Wagner’s potential for success rests on how quickly Q102 gets a hold of his CD.
Otherwise, he’ll probably be tossed in the teenie-bopper box and forgotten.
– Nadia Stadnycki