Lawson are a four-piece rock pop band who released their debut album ‘Chapman Square’ four years ago to both critical and public success. They have now returned with their sophomore album ‘Perspective’ which hears the band release a body of work that when comparing it to their debut, lead vocalist Andy Brown commented “‘Chapman Square’ was about losing love, ‘Perspective’ is about finding it.”
The opening title track is a dreamy introduction which helps set the mood for the listener and it is then closely followed by the summery ‘We Are The Fire’ as drummer Adam Pitts keeps the beat going as the track’s hooky chorus with chanting and clapping is at the forefront. I predict this will be an outdoor festival favourite.
The first single from this release ‘Money’ has a real reggae bass line that is provided by Ryan Fletcher with such precision. Andy Brown sings to his other half ‘We’d be living like kings and queens if I had money!’ If musical history has taught us anything, songs about money have usual done quite well from both a radio airplay and sales point of view. Examples include Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’, Donna Summer’s ‘She Works Hard For the Money’. Dire Straits ‘Money For Nothing’ and many many more.
‘Where My Love Goes’ is a change of pace with a pleasant piano intro and this new single is an important number for Andy Brown as the offiical music video documents Andy’s real-life proposal to his girlfriend, Joey. Inviting her to take photographs of the band on the set of their new video is all, unbeknownst to her, a ruse to actually pop the question mid-performance. It is an emotional song that Andy’s strong vocals convey beautifully and you can hear the passion in the song. It will probably become a wedding first dance favourite once it is released as it is a track that people can relate to. (Congratulations by the way!)
My favourite track on ‘Perspective’ is ‘Rio’ with its funky rhythm section and clubbing vibe as they have really thought about the production values from the instruments to subtle acoustic guitar and robotic style vocals. The electric guitar solo from Joel Peat is fluid without being tedious and for me, fades to early.
‘When I’m Old’ is a song that Gary Barlow wishes he’d written for his solo album as it has undertones of early Mumford and Sons. Not the strongest number on this but fairly listenable.
‘Only Water’ features a string section and the song is not dissimilar to the sound of material by female fronted metal bands such as Nightwish (especially with Tarja Turunen), Lacuna Coil and Evansence. This would make a magical male/female duet.
‘Lions Den’ lets Lawson unleash their inner rock gods as Adam plays ferociously on the drumkit and Andy cleverly builds the song up to its anthemic arena chorus. Good work lads.
If you like San Franciscan rock band Train and the tracks ‘Drive By’ and ‘Angel In Blue Jeans’ then ‘Roads’ is for you. The singalong approach is a sure winner and it creates imagery of dusty desert roads an a classic American car traveling along.
Closer ‘Love & War’ is a lyrical masterpiece and includes some lovely female backing vocals and concludes an incredibly powerful, emotional album release that Lawson should be very proud of as they have mixed things up and thrown in elements of pop, rock, reggae and even bits of classical music in their songs when they could’ve just stuck to formulaic pop music. I really do commend them for that.
Lawson’s second album ‘Perspective’ is released on Friday 8th July 2016 on Polydor. For more information visit their official website here: http://bit.ly/29iDBb1
(Many thanks to Jenny Entwhislte at Chuff Media for all of her help with this review and her ongoing support)