Lawrence Arabia - Chant Darling

2010-01-08 | |

Lawrence Arabia is the project of one New Zealander named James Milne. His folky sounds came to my attention via Race Horses, and the fact that they're both playing in Cardiff next weekend (and I'm hoping to get tickets). As the last of my reviews before I start my new project on this blog, I figured it was only right to give this guy a review. This is his second solo album, and it goes a little something like this...

Lawrence Arabia make indie folk seem effortless. The album itself isn't particularly outstanding; it fits into the category of "indie pop" in the same vein as Camera Obscura, and Belle and Sebastian, making sounds that are too perfect and bubblegum; bordering on folk, bordering on pop. Think of him as a New Zealander Pelle Carlberg, if you will; although nowhere near as infectious. Maybe a wry smile here and there when you agree with a tune.

Still, what is good about this album is the fact that it manages pop without being pretentious about it. It's not pop in the sense that you'd think of Cher or Tom Jones; Fall Out Boy or The Beatles. It's pop in the sense that he sings so sweetly and composes songs that seem so deep and layered sometimes that they could be real hits, if it weren't for the lack of catchy lyrics.

I think this one is hit or miss though. For me, it's ups and downs; certain songs are really good, others aren't exactly worth going back for. I suppose you could say it's an average album then? Not really; the good songs are really good, and the 'bad' songs aren't actually bad, they just pale in comparison to the really good songs. I suppose that's what you get when it's something decent, for once.

Overall: 7.5/10 - I really think it's pushing to be a good album. It's definitely above average, but it does have those moments where you hit a sub-par song and think "Wait, what happened!?" Definitely a grower though.

Top Track: The Beautiful Young Crew

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