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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

Moving Up Living Down: Sing-Along Songs

Three years ago California singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson charmed the Notre Dame Community at the B1 Block Party with tunes from his debut album "Sounds Like This." His latest full-length effort, "Moving Up Living Down," brings the same quirky, catchy California sunshine to a charming sophomore album.

Hutchinson has spent the last few years touring "Sounds Like This" and said that experience influenced the way he recorded "Moving Up Living Down."

"The best concerts are when people sing along with me," he said when the album was released. "So for the next one, what kind of songs do I want people singing with me? What kind of songs do I want people dancing to?"

Hutchinson kept his word - this is an album for dancing and singing along.

Album-opening track "Talk is Cheap" sets off the mood right with Hutchinson's signature crooning vocals and piano mix, with a teensy reggae vibe thrown in.

"Best Days" is a fun sing-along with a message college students can appreciate, with lyrics like, "As I'm struggling on my own, I have to think I'm not alone" and "Here we are, living the best days of our lives."

Enter bluesy '50s rock and roll jam "The Basement." With a quick "That Thing You Do" tempo, it's impossible not to start toe tapping and singing along - if you can keep up. It is easily one of the catchiest tunes on the album.

"Watching You Watch Him" is a very sweet song of a guy in love with a girl who loves someone else. It is a happy-go-lucky tune combined with adorably sad-sap lyrics.

"Cool people maybe they're just born with it / They know the trends before they're here / And I'm so sick of tryin' / Because there's no denying / There's nothing cool about my atmosphere," Hutchinson croons in funky hand clapping tune "I'm Not Cool." It is, ironically, a very cool song.

Once again hitting on a note college students can relate to, especially those frantically trying to plot out their post-graduation future, in "Not There Yet" Hutchinson sings, "I don't want to work any more / I just want to live instead / Everyone is saying I'm all grown up / I've come a long way, but I'm not there yet."

Some of the songs on the latter part of the album aren't standouts, but Hutchinson's music in general blends effortlessly together to make a relaxing, fun album in the same sing-along vein as his debut.

Musical growth is overrated, and in "Moving Up Living Down" Hutchinson presents his unique talent for producing energetic, sincere, sing-along worthy pop songs.