Greg Laswell â€“ How the Day Sounds / 2007 Vanguard / 6 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/greglaswell /
The name Greg Laswell may not ring any bells in listenerâ€™s brains, but there is a good chance that you have heard one of eir songs in the past. This is due ot the fact that Laswellâ€™s music has been present on shows like One Tree Hill, The Hills, and Smallville. Furthermore, Laswell has toured with stars like Matt Costa, Ingrid Michaelson, and Sia. Finally, if you were around the San Diego music scene in the late nineties, ey was the leader of Shillglen. Laswell plays a brand of adult contemporary rock, which means that the title (opening() track is similar to the work of contemporaries as Coldplay, Snow Patrol, and even U2.
â€œSalvation Dearâ€ is the second track, and it scales back the instruments considerably; the track is fueled by little more than Laswellâ€™s guitar and vocals. It is only when the drums kick in that the track is given full life, as before these drums entered into the equation, Laswellâ€™s vocals could not support the heavy weights of the track. This is not the case with â€œDays Go Onâ€. The driven piano lines present during this track push the vocals to a much faster tempo. This will likely be the â€œbigâ€ track on the disc, as it couples the laid-back style of the first half of the disc with a dance-worthy style that follows from the work of acts like Fischerspooner, Radiohead, and even (at point) The Killers.
Where many of the slower tracks did not break free of the general sound espoused by the average guitar player at a coffee shop on any given night, â€œDays Go Onâ€ provides individuals with an interesting amalgamation of styles, allowing for a little bit of Laswell to come through. Unfortunately, things go back to the status quo by â€œEmbrace Meâ€, a slower song that could easily be on any of the montages on a CW show (funny, isnâ€™t it?). There are a few bright spots on this EP, but the fact is that Greg Laswell just does not much special on this disc. There is nothing that is new, nothing that could distinguish eir fro the rest of the acts on the market. Sure, ey is talented, but ey ultimately cannot break free of the sea of unknown artists that are crafting albums that are virtually identical to this.
Top Track: Days Go On