Quincy Mumford and The Reason Why - Its Only Change
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: July 30, 2013
No matter how much he will try to veer the other way, New Jersey singer-songwriter Quincy Mumford will always be tethered to the Grammy-winning folk group. While the similar surnames bind them together, their sonic output is nowhere near similar. That much is certain on the jaunty and buoyant "Change," a nuanced slice of organ-driven acoustic rock that's absolutely intoxicating. Leaving behind the uplifting nature of "Change," the band wades in reggae on the beachy "For You." Ostensibly a summer song it seems a bit weird placing it in the two hole but so be it.
Not content to straddle just two genres, the band gets their blues groove on in the shape of the horn-driven "Under the Covers." After two niche-based efforts, the band is in dire need of a sea change and thankfully that comes in the form of the gorgeous and tender piano ballad "When You Get Back." Mumford is a devoted admirer of soul singers and the entire effort feels culled from the Amos Lee songbook. Shifting into falsetto, "When You Get Back" is the first real triumph since "Change." The first side of Its Just Change concludes with "A Hard Place," a Stevie Wonder-esque sendup that once again revisits the band's love for not spreading themselves too thin.
The second half of Its Just Change opens with the breathy languor of "Time Won't Wait," a song that slides into Red Hot Chili Peppers territory in its latter stages. The band wades deeper into languor on the slow-rolling "Eventually," a song that feels like it was written precisely for the hot haziness of summer. In an album that seems to be mired in an identity complex, "Eventually" is as honest, real and perfect as the band gets. That sentiment is continued on the doe-eyed "Madeline," an easy-to-please tonic for stress and calamity.
Never one to turn down the opportunity for a good jam, the band gets their groove going with the freewheeling "No Love." Of all the band's efforts to prove their collective sonic muscle, none is better than the horn-laden "No Love," a song that should have been placed far, far higher in the tracklisting. Its Just Change comes to a close with the lukewarm "Baby Don't Go," a frustrating and disappointing to an album that once again should have been far higher in the tracklisting.
Track sequence and identity crisis aside, the band's positives are that Mumford has an easygoing and self-assured vocal delivery that will find favor with many (most likely lustful females). Blessed with a sterling backing band, Mumford has the benefit of sailing in any direction he so chooses. One just hopes that on the next effort that direction is a little more focused.