MAMAs 2016: The winners of the annual MTV Africa Music Awards were announced during a glitzy ceremony

Meet Iain Thomas, the 36-year-old South African poet who is famous all over the world except in SA

Gavin DeGraw

2008-07-31 07:57
A really good pop album is as rare as Ashlee Simpson's talent. But here you have one, and it should be praised for restoring some credibility to a genre that takes a lot of flack.

Dust off your Stetson and click your heels for some country-fied numbers like "I Have You to Thank" and "Relative". His lyrics are refreshingly simple and his voice is filled with conviction. Try this on for size: "I won’t tell you lies or treat you like a rental car like other guys" (off "Cop Stop").
Song titles like "I’m in Love with a Girl" and "Cop Stop" don’t exactly inspire soul searching or introspection. Oh, to hell with deeper meanings. So what if he gets off role-playing cops ‘n robbers with his chick and then wants to sing "Baby I’m a cop, stop, put up your hands and surrender to me-he-eh-eh-ee"? This clean shaven pretty boy might have a darker side hidden amongst other soppy tracks such as "We Belong Together" and "Young Love".

DeGraw is no newbie. This is his fourth album and he has clearly found what works for him and his audience. His 2004 hit "I Don’t Want to Be" became the theme song for the teen TV series "One Tree Hill", and everyone knows there’s nothing like rich, good looking teenagers to bump up your career. Not that he doesn’t deserve it. He’s not your average pop star considering he doesn’t lip-sync, he writes his own songs and he plays the guitar and piano. You go, boy! We love you.

- Sam Brighton

Here's a "Big Apple"-sized helping of radio friendly pop music. Maybe it’ll fade after a few months like all playlists, but right now I blast this CD in my car every chance I get. I sing along in the shower and I’ve occasionally turned my wooden spoon into a fake microphone.

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