Georgie James 

Places (Saddle Creek)

“Ex-Q and Not U” is more than just a really awkward phrase with too many letter sounds; it’s also a terrible starting point for Georgie James’s Places. Though this is the first relatively high-profile release to follow Q and Not U’s 2005 breakup, it bears almost no resemblance to anything the DC trio ever did. Georgie James is co-fronted by Laura Burhenn and John Davis — Davis being the former band’s drummer — and, if anything, they mostly come off sounding like the New Pornographers. Their songs are clean, poppy and lean way too heavily on co-ed vocal harmonies, which is to say they’re mostly pretty bland. There is one riff, on ‘Need Your Needs’, that sounds like it could have been used on a dance-rock track from Q and Not U’s last album, but even that’s ruined by a wimpy, banal chorus. Of course, it’s never fair to judge a band solely on one member’s previous pursuits, but really, no set of expectations could make Places sound like anything more than an hour of average indie-pop.


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