Plug In Stereo

Nothing To Something


Acoustic popster Trevor Dahl, aka Plug In Stereo, deserves a positive rating for his curly coif alone: This guy’s hair adds at least four inches to his stature. But his musical chops add more; he’s a bona fide songwriter in the vein of Jason Mraz and John Mayer, with a ragamuffin edge—see his duet with teen-pop starlet Cady Groves, perhaps the most endearing look at young love in the Auto-Tune age. Put this one on repeat and remember your first kiss, over and over.

Dahl’s voice is easy to listen to on Nothing To Something, not too cutesy, but sensitive and soft—and even able to pull off what would normally be cringe-worthy lyrics. “If you think this is bad, wait for the second verse,” he croons on “What Goes Around,” and usually it’s the kind of thing that would have us throwing our iPods down in a rage, but with Plug In Stereo, it’s just, kind of, well, cute. No, it’s not the Prozac kicking in; it’s just honest-to-goodness, sweet pop. No marketing scams, hidden agendas or shameful Afterschool Special pandering.

And the songs are solid. In fact, the little guy can play the hell out of his acoustic guitar; they’re some pretty impressive licks for a kid singing about the ups-and-downs of his teenage life. It’s like the music you’d want to hear on a road trip to Disneyland. If you hate Disneyland, go spin some Avenged Sevenfold. And if the mere mention of Never Shout Never’s Christofer Drew co-writing one of these songs (“Together”) has you seeing crimson, perhaps some Slayer.

Triple Crown

“Oh Darling”