by Sherri Prunier
The Brightwings have a classic charm lost in the present day world of glamour and pretense. The album is timeless, catchy, and completely radio friendly--as innocent and harmless as the episode of The Wonder Years the band got its name from.
The band is Matt Rafal, Dave Dombroski, Dan Holden and Jayme Tardiff; three singer/songwriters and a drummer. Though this is a debut album from Brightwings, three-fourths of the band played previously under the name “Missing Joe.” It’s country music parading as acoustic pop/rock, with mostly chorus-driven songs at a mid-tempo pace. While this is not a highly favorable style of music among the current generation, and certainly not original, this band could easily develop a following with some worthy singles. The potential to propel outside the college tour crowd and New England bar scene is there.
One of the strongest contenders for mass market airplay, “All I Need,” is enjoyable, as long as you can swallow lyrics like “Hall needed Oates and Columbus needed boats,” found in this number. Basically, the album is a collection of simplistic good-natured songs about a girl--nothing more, nothing less.
The way these Boston boys sing is their saving grace, harmonies that could make a church choir jealous. The compelling closing number, “Please Come to Boston,” is a marketable anthem and reason enough for anyone to give this band a chance.