Too many dramatic pauses?

Surviving Saturn's Return (Awacian Records)

D.A. King

By Kory Wilcoxson

The music of local singer-songwriter D.A. King slides easily into the category of adult alternative. On his debut album, Surviving Saturn's Return, he smoothly blends his deep, sonorous vocals with the folksy, guitar pop sound of his band.

Return is an intriguing but uneven album. King's songwriting abilities are adequate but repetitive; he reuses a formulaic structure one time too many (almost every chorus ends with a dramatic pause, followed by the song title). When he does stray from the script on the last song ("I Turned the Corner"), it's a more than welcome change of pace.

King's strength, far and away, is his ability to tell stories and evoke emotions through his lyrics. His words are introspective and painfully honest ("Alright with Me"), and he expresses his own insecurities and lessons learned with engaging sincerity ("Tryin' to remember where I left myself/lookin' in old boxes on dusty shelves").

At his best, King is a storyteller. "Good Seeds," the best track on the album, is an ode to the blue-collar life that nicely stretches the agro metaphor ("It's not the Garden of Eden, but I bet you'll find some flowers among the weeds"). The only real slip-up on the whole CD is "Down on the Ground," a stab at politicians that rings hollow in the midst of the rich songs around it.