While some accuse sensitive singer-songwriter Cass McCombs of softening up for his Domino debut, perhaps for new audiences to digest, the truth is McCombs was hardly that abrasive to begin with. Sure, 05's PREfection is edgier than the smooth-flowing Dropping The Writ, but as he gently grows more inward and melody-focused it doesn't feel like much of a left turn.
An example of where Dropping works compellingly is That's That, where McCombs' falsettos over a popping new wave bass line, with image-inducing lyrics about 'cleaning toilets in Baltimore,' his adopted home. Petrified Forest drags slightly in comparison, as he cuts his teeth on 70s smooth with the verse, but an incongruous chorus spike breaks up the vibe you're just getting into.
That uneven trend continues throughout Writ, though McCombs proves to be more on than off.