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I Wish We All Could Win
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  • I Wish We All Could Win is the debut of the Afters, a Texas quartet whose slick alternative pop settles nicely between Switchfoot and Fountains of Wayne. They avoid the latter band's sardonic wit -- after all, Win is a joint release between Epic and Christian imprint INO. Instead, the Afters concentrate on bright and hopeful, but also pretty trite sentiment like "On this beautiful night/We'll make everything right/My beautiful love," and "Love Will You Make You Beautiful." Of course, they also tinge their pop hooks with wrangling guitars and the occasional whine of feedback ("Someday"; the Fuel-ish "Way You Are"), and Josh Haven's voice has a way of suggesting Thom Yorke's, so there's a little bit of Radiohead's dramatic dourness in "Beautiful" and "Wait" even if it's ultimately consumed by surging strings and the implication of the capitalized pronouns in the liner notes. The Afters wear their faith on their sleeves. But I Wish We All Could Win has plenty of crossover potential since, like Switchfoot, the band gathers their melodic sense from mainstream radio. ~ Johnny Loftus
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