Charlie Mars might be the closest that music has to Howie Day. The difference is Charlie Mars’ inflecting abilities – he doesn’t come across as whiny. Whine is all too common in the male pop rock category. What isn’t common is the ability to know when to whine and when not to whine. But it might just be natural for the genre – so I think I’ll have to take it as it is.
The opening track “Gather The Horses” is the closest thing to pop that Charlie Mars gets. Its catchy melody resembles pop, but the sound is strangely adult-sounding. I was confused for a second about whether Charlie was appealing himself to the pop radio stations or adult contemporary stations. “Close To Home” sounds like it could be played on the TV show Scrubs (fans of the show will know what I’m talking about).
Charlie sings about break-ups (“White Out”), dreams and successes (“Silver Buttons”), and father-son relationships (“Try So Hard”). From the very ballad-esque “When The Sun Goes Down” to the country folk inspired “Nobody Cries,” Charlie Mars sings about a variety of topics. Although his music and vocal range aren’t displayed as much as I would have liked, I think that his self-titled major label debut is very good. There aren’t many men willingly to travel down the pop rock road, but I’m glad that Charlie has.