Music » Critics' Picks

Richard Swift/The Fray/Jack's Mannequin

7 p.m. Friday, July 3. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights.

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"Sorry, Mr. Swift, but you're much too fat/and could I convince you to wear a cap?" So begins Richard Swift's "Artist & Repertoire," a song in which the pudgy, Brillo-headed Swift somberly (and sarcastically) bemoans the vanishing audience for his sweet, piano-based pop songs. Thankfully, Swift labors on with a melodic skill set that, 45 years ago, would have put him in the company of songwriters like Goffin, King, Bacharach and David. This year Swift released The Atlantic Ocean, a collection of buoyant tunes that finds the songwriter inserting cheap, playful synth lines amid classic song craft and his vibrato-heavy, high-reaching vocals. Swift opens for the Fray and Jack's Mannequin, so fans of piano-pounding pop would be wise to snag a piece of the lawn this Friday night.

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