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Review: 5-year wait for new music finally over for Keaton Simons' fans

| Friday, May 3, 2013, 8:56 p.m.

‘Beautiful Pain'

Keaton Simons (Best Revenge)

★★★½

After hearing the 2008 “Can You Hear Me” debut from West Coast pop/rocker Keaton Simons, I was convinced he was a star in the making. His radio-ready sound seemed geared to mainstream audiences, yet there was enough of an edge to maintain some street cred. Since then, however, we've heard nothing from Simons. Sure, he's toured extensively and had songs featured in a handful of films and television series, but the solid if unspectacular “Beautiful Pain” is an album that took five years to make.

It's a very good record, and Simons has fine-tuned his skills as a singer and songwriter on the 13-track platter. “Thrill of It All” is a mid-tempo keeper, and Simons surprises with raucous rocker “The Medicine” before settling in. Additional standouts include the title track, “Hearts Don't Break Themselves,” “Other Side” and “Inspiration.” Here's hoping he won't wait so long for album No. 3.

Jeffrey Sisk is an editor for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-6649161 ext. 1952, or jsisk@tribweb.com.

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