Release Date: May 8, 2012
Record label: Vanguard
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter
Greg Laswell’s fourth full-length album, Landline, begins with “Come Back Down”, a super-pop duet with Sara Bareilles in which he proclaims, “All of your wallowing is unbecoming / You’ve gotta take it on your own from here / It’s getting pathetic and I’m almost done here”. It is condescending and fairly self-righteous, but not entirely untrue. I’m sure many of us have experienced moments where we indulge in self-pity or, conversely, witness those closest to us indulge in self-pity that results in self-induced stagnation.
Landline, Greg Laswell's 2012 follow-up to the celebrated Take a Bow, may sound less tortured, but there's plenty of pathos to go around. Recorded in a small church-turned-house that belongs to his in-laws, Laswell couches his songwriting in what he perceives to be adventurous production. He listened to many hip-hop records before he cut Landline, and the sound of its drums, loops, and synthetic percussion obviously enchanted him.
These days, singer/songwriters are a dime a dozen, and it’s rare that one is able to craft pieces unique, touching, and fully realized enough to truly stand out from the pack. Fortunately, Greg Laswell is one such needle in the haystack. His newest LP, Landline, is a delightful and sobering experience full of poignant melodies and lyrics, delicate yet confident vocals, and bold, luscious production.