Joel Kroeker is a tough guy to figure out. There's no doubt he's proficient, talented and confident. He's written songs for Liam Titcomb, Lee Aaron and the Weekend's Andrea Wasse, and musically he sounds a bit like Joel Plaskett doing soft rock. But Kroeker's capabilities can't save his new album, Closer To The Flame, which suffers from a major lack of personality. The Good Stuff will be a light rock radio fave, but it's bland beyond belief, while the title track, one of the record's catchier offerings, devolves into a strange blend of country and rock after a promising start. Fans of safe, unimaginative rock 'n' roll will dig this album, but everyone else will find it tough to listen to more than once.
Joel Kroeker plays Tuesday (January 23) at Hugh's Room.