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The Boston Globe

Music

ALBUM REVIEW | POP

Gavin DeGraw, ‘Make a Move’

Despite its lightweight qualities, Gavin DeGraw’s pop can be undeniably appealing when he plays to his strengths, as he does on most of his fifth record. Unlike the tepid “Sweeter” from 2011, the songs here are better crafted and ingratiating. He’s not merely relying on his winsome charm and vulnerability to carry a tune. Unfortunately, the singer-songwriter doesn’t stray from a mostly rudimentary view of romance and yearning. Luckily, he surrounds himself with savvy producers, including Butch Walker and Ryan Tedder, who punch things up with more emphasis on percussion and opening up the sound. “Best I Ever Had” (certainly not Drake’s song) features a galloping beat and skews Mumford-y, making it a refreshing change of pace for DeGraw. A few songs retain his underlying sweetness and gentle ache. The disc, best taken in small doses (“Every Little Bit,” “Need”), flattens out from familiarity yet still features some of Degraw’s best moments. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL “Every Little Bit”

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