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Almost Home – 2012 (Yarn Music)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by Yarn

Despite three previous albums and a sound so mainstream it could cover as much turf as a trans-continental highway, Yarn have yet to create the bigger buzz necessary to bring them widespread notoriety. Granted, it could have something to do with their name; neither descriptive nor tantalizing nor specific to any particular sound or sensibility, it's a handle so lackluster, it all but ensures obscurity.

That's a shame really because based on the optimistically-entitled "Almost Home," Yarn possess the know-how - if not the handle - to garner appeal and appreciation. They don't break any barriers or opt for anything extraordinary, but given their rugged and resilient sound combined with their affable and assured delivery, Yarn's approach reflects both classic and contemporary leanings.

Songs such as Dirt Road, The Loner and the title track come across as reliable commercial fare, while Soft Rock Radio offers a clarion call that should all but ensure airplay. The appeal is obvious, but their M.O. is so homogenous, there's little to distinguish them from the competition.

Not surprisingly, "Almost Home" makes a far more compelling impression when it veers towards the side of that well-trod divide, be it in the bluegrass ramble of It's Almost Over or the road-weary rasp that accompanies Turn the Light Off. Likewise, the reflective ballads Heart Worth Breaking and When the Summer Ends provide additional emotional impact. In fact, the band's at their best when they pluck more stirring sentiments.