Greg Laswell: Covers


RIYL: Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley

With his previous albums, Greg Laswell established his penchant for cinematic soundscapes, purveying a downcast disposition and a haunting, shrouded motif that provided spectral settings for his weary ruminations. Now, he’s taking a brief detour from his own musings via this enticing five-song EP, which retraces songs by Echo and the Bunnymen, Morphine, Mazzy Star, Kristen Hersh and Kate Bush — and, in some cases, actually bests the originals. These songs were somewhat gloomy to begin with, and Laswell makes no attempt to alleviate the mood. Even so, he manages to add a new dimension; by giving a shadowy and shimmering sheen to “Killing Moon,” a lurching yet assertive stance to Hersh’s “Your Ghost,” and buoying the tempo on “In Spite Of Me,” Laswell effectively puts his imprint on each. Likewise, “Take Everything” retains the laconic feel of Mazzy Star’s original, while transforming the song into a stately piano recital, and his take on “This Woman’s Work” strips the song of its harsh veneer and replaces Bush’s signature sensuality with an emphasis on its gentle soul. Ultimately, like every effort in his repertoire, Covers affirms that Laswell’s an original. (Vanguard 2009)

Greg Laswell website

  

Molly Jenson: Maybe Tomorrow

Do you find it hard to keep track of how many VH-1 “You Oughta Know” type singer/songwriters there are? You know, that wispy alt-pop thing – think Sara Bareilles, Erin McCarley and the like. Well, don’t look now, here comes another one; Nettwerk’s latest signing, Molly Jenson, with her debut, Maybe Tomorrow. Try as you may to dislike it, Jenson’s sultry voice and more than pleasant melodies will keep you listening. Sure, it sounds like everything else the genre is putting out, but let’s face it – these songs don’t write themselves. Jenson and writing partner Greg Laswell have crafted a fine effort of pop tunes and if you’d rather not lump her into the current crop of female singer/songwriters, consider that she could be a young Aimee Mann, bending falsetto and all. On the title track and as well as on “Beginning Here,” there is this perpetual feeling of being dragged along through a thick fog – she gets you to where you’re going, but you may struggle to enjoy the ride. But then, Jenson is at her best when she throws some hip swagger in, as she does on “Thinking of You” and “Alongside You,” as well as the simply beautiful guitar and vocal track, “Wait For You Here.” (LABEL: Nettwerk)

Molly Jenson MySpace Page

  

Related Posts