Reviewed by Helen Whitall
This is the London-based Laurence Levy Band's first mini-album. All the tracks here are acoustic guitar ballads with fairly simple, and similar, three-chord sequences. Levy has a nice, understated, and occasionally under-confident, voice and there are some lovely acoustic guitar solos in places. The guitar playing is skilful, but alas not so the songwriting. For example, for the most part "On The Wings Of A Prayer" sounds as if Levy is just saying phrases, some clunkily literal ("Look at the children, they're playing in the sun"), though the chorus message that "On the wings of a prayer/We learn to live/love again" is a beautiful insight. Elsewhere though I found myself wondering what a song was about and trying to guess at the lyrical structure; phrases seem strangely disconnected and unstructured both in terms of message and melody and at times the only thing that makes a chorus stand out from a verse is how many times it is repeated. And there is a lot of repetition. None of these songs build or develop musically and all the lyrics are introduced in the first half of each track, leaving rather too much time for repeats of the chorus. The best example is "It's Only A Dream"; it features a snippet of an interesting guitar riff and the relaxing, meandering style feels like the musical equivalent of watching the landscape pass by from a train window, with the lyrics nicely reflecting this. Some chord development could have given this song real lift and made it a great track, but unfortunately the train goes nowhere. It could happily have ended half way through, but instead it drags on, going round and round, and it fades out as if the band were unsure how to make it end. Overall I found this mostly pleasant to listen to, inoffensive (bar a horribly strident female backing vocal on track two) but the lacklustre, overlong songs drag it down.
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