In a classic case of "If it aint broke, don't fix it", The Devlins' output so far has represented a tidy set of old-fashioned, uncomplicated songwriting which makes up for any lack of adventure or experimentalism. Like contemporaries The Blue Nile they have even sustained a strong following despite releasing records at roughly once every five years. So it's some suprise that 'Waves' was recorded a mere two years after 2002's 'Consent'. In truth perhaps they should have waited a little longer. It's undeniably solid and sensitively produced. Opener 'Everything Comes Around' hits the ground running with a tense verse followed by an urgent chorus. Colin Devlin's earnest but restrained delivery is in top form but the songs simply aren't as memorable. 'Someday' and 'Headstrong' recall the catchy melodies of their 1993 debut but these are the exceptions rather than the rule. Exhibits A and B being 'Coming Alive' and 'Lazarus', which may have exciting titles but are completely dull to listen to. So for the first time - even though this is still a pretty decent record - The Devlins' middle of the road approach seems to be approaching a dead-end.