Count On It

The Lucky Few
Equation (Black Burst)

By David Lilly

Most performers want you to become comfortable with them before they take advantage of you. In other words, they want to cook their dinner on your stove and make you eat the sparse leftovers after they've gone. The Devin, England band Equation is a bit different, many because they don't appear calculating about achieving that. They're friendly and mainstream, which might result in rejection by some. However, from the opening song "Not The Man," which bears a resemblance to "Listen to the Music" by the Doobie Brothers, Equation smiles and extends their collective hearts and hands in a warm gesture. Only much later will they ask you where your pots and pans are.

When you hear the opening track, it might conjure visions of a barbecue at the lake with friends and loved ones. Don't concern yourself with needing to acquire a taste for their music, though. All the food at this party - their second U.S. release - is definitely edible, not to mention well done.

Good, radio-friendly acoustic rock is what Equation mostly plays. They do throw in a good curve ball with a dirge-ballad, "Hard Underground," which envelops the listener in deep sadness, emphasized by an achingly beautiful violin (reminiscent of the one featured in Al Stewart's "Broadway Hotel" from more than a quarter century ago), yet the song is so pretty it begs for repeated listening. They are also versatile enough to churn out some good straight-ahead rock and roll like "Mother and Child" and the previously-mentioned "Not The Man."

With their ready-for-radio, laid-back pop stylings Equation's 12 songs on The Lucky Few add up to a winning CD. And they'll even clean up after they've finished cooking.