Gavin DeGraw is probably best-known in the UK for his song I Don’t Want To Be which was used as the theme tune for long-running teen drama One Tree Hill. DeGraw popped up in a few episodes over the years too singing songs from his catalogue. It’s been two years since DeGraw last released an album (Sweeter hit the Top 10 in the US) and now he’s back with new album Make a Move which was released here in the UK this week.
For Make a Move DeGraw has teamed up with a variety of producers as he attempts to widen his sound. The album opens with the country-tinged rock single Best I Ever Had which is a real stormer of a track. It’s not surprising that the track was chosen as the album’s lead single as it lends itself to radio and is commercial enough to make a mark in the UK despite having country influences.
The feel for the album is commercial, polished pop/rock that puts DeGraw’s distinctive voice at the centre. Tracks such as the Ryan Tedder produced Finest Hour showcase DeGraw’s range and power whilst showcasing that there is definitely a place for him in the commercial charts. Title track Make a Move is the kind of track that you can imagine going down very well in a live environment and is one of the strongest moments on the record.
Elsewhere on the record DeGraw injects a bit of electric-guitar and blues into the ballad I’m Gonna Try, explores mid-tempo on the Maroon 5-esque Need, and gets down and dirty on the standout track Every Little Bit. The album draws to a close with the beat-driven Different For Girls which ends Make a Move on a high note.
Make a Move is a solid effort from DeGraw. Despite the amount of producers involved with the record it does feel a little samey at points but we enjoyed it as a whole. We have a feeling the record is one of those that improves with repeated listens and we’re sure it’s a grower. As a performer and an artist DeGraw is incredibly charismatic and once he hits the road in support of Make a Move we’re confident we’ll be revisiting it frequently.