This was originally written for Goldenplec.
I’ve been trying not to listen to an album just a few times and then reviewing them. Instead I’ve been listening to albums to see how the whole thing gels after listening to it for a week or two.
Jamie Lawson’s new album ‘The Pull of The Moon’ is a great reason why we should all give something more than one listen. I wouldn’t be a huge fan of guys with acoustic guitars and with many singer songwriter types in the musical realm it takes something special to rise to the top and with album Lawson proves to be a step above.
The album opens with ‘The Last Time’, a song which starts off with a pure vocal and piano intro before getting more uptempo. There’s a great mainstream production on this track and it builds and falls beautifully, echoing James Morrison’s Broken Strings. Throughout the track Lawson’s vocals seem effortless, tender and emotional. ‘The Last Time’ Is the only track on the album not solely written by Lawson. Co-written by Adam Argyle, who has previously worked with artists such as Melanie C, ‘The Last Time’ is a great start to the album.
‘This is Love’ brings us back to a simple vocal and guitar. Lawson and his production team have it down, they know where to lift the track and where to let it fall. The subtle addition of simple backing vocals, double bass and violin make this track but they never overpower Lawson’s vocals.
The Plymouth native definitely knows how he wants to sound and this is an accomplished album. Apart from with his vocals and songwriting, where Lawson stands apart is the attention to detail. The placement of each track on the album gives a rise and fall and movement throughout, so it’s not just a bunch of songs. It’s a collection, that were always meant to live together on his record.
Lawson also dismisses the myth that singer/songwriters always write nice slow songs. ‘..But Love Me’ is lyrically very clever and has memorable hooks and sing along lines. Slower tracks like ‘The Touch of Your Hand’ allow Lawson the freedom of sparse production giving his lyrics the opportunity to shine.
Current single ‘The Real Thing’, which has already adorned our radios, is a well produced pop song which builds up nicely towards the chorus, drawing the listener in. What will be the follow-up? ‘Seven’ has a good chance, nice vocal lines, nice build up of instruments. Subtle strings.
Tracks at the end of an album are often forgotten about, as if they are there just to make up numbers. Not so with ‘The Pull of The Moon’, tracks ‘North Shore’ and ‘Some Ships’ (clues to where he grew up?) are perfect for closing out the album. ‘North Shore’ is a track reminiscing about a former love and includes the clever line ‘I’d have never left you if you had stayed’. Stripped down to a just Jamie’s vocals and a guitar line, ‘Some Ships’ is a lovely way to close the album, complete with guitar fret noise.
‘The Pull of The moon’ is a great album, this album should establish Jamie Lawson as a serious contender.