Andy Grammer seems like a good guy. The former Santa Monica busker landed the massive hit "Keep Your Head Up" the old-fashioned way -- hard work and perseverance. But his sophomore album, "Magazines or Novels" (S-Curve), feels like a desperate attempt to manufacture another hit. Instead of building his own sound, which he comes closest to on the catchy single "Back Home," Grammer ends up with cut-rate approximations of other artists. The faux-soulful "Red Eye" isn't quite Maroon 5, and the driving "Pushing" is a few steps shy of OneRepublic. The bland copying makes most of "Magazines or Novels" obsolete from the start.
"Magazines or Novels"
THE GRADE C
BOTTOM LINE Nice, average adult pop