Lawson - Perspective Album Review
Hellooo! The last post I wrote was over two weeks ago and said that I planned to post twice a week... Well that was before we lost our broadband connection right as I was finishing this review. As gutted as I was, I knew that as soon as the internet returned I would be sure to post this! A few weeks back Lawson released their second album and of course I had to write a review of it! I purchased the deluxe box set version from their website so I'll let you know where the standard version ends and the deluxe carries on. After a week of listening to the album, Perspective definitely feels more grown up than the last album but still retains the Lawson sound we all know and love. Grab yourselves a drink and maybe even a snack - this post is going to be a long one...
Perspective (Intro) opens the album and is a short track filled with harmonies that leaves you wishing there was a full song. Second on the album is We Are The Fire which is reminiscent of Chapman Square but with a country influence brought from their time recording in Nashville. There are also electronic elements to the track. Money is the third song on the album and is an uplifting, catchy anthem that they released a couple of months ago. The beautiful Where My Love Goes is next and you can read my full review of the track here. Spoiler alert - I love it!
Number five is Rio, a funky track full of Daft Punk inspired guitars and carnival aspects with the odd flamenco guitar riff. The double tracked vocals add depth to the vocals and party and bird sound effects bring in all meanings of the word Rio. I love that the different instruments each have their own roles in the track and Ryan's bass sounds awesome. When I'm Old follows Rio and is another uplifting, feel good track which would be hard not to dance to. It has fast paced guitars, chanting vocals and claps all round (think Union J's Get It Right but with even more energy). However, the vocals on this track don't sound quite right; they sound different to the rest of the album and seem filtered in some way. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not but it results in the vocals not sitting right in the track and they seem to get lost with the backing vocals and lose the power that the vocals possess in the rest of the album. Aside from this, I really like the song as it's upbeat and I imagine it would be a great crowd pleaser!
Next on the album is Only Water, slowing the tempo right down for this beautiful ballad. Bringing back echoes of The Girl I Knew, Only Water showcases Andy's stunning vocals in the best way possible and although I had a love hate relationship with The Girl I Knew, there's no doubt in my mind that I love Only Water. Lion's Den turns the mood of the album on it's head with dramatic drums, squealing guitars (think Katy Perry's E.T.) and thick bass. It's probably the rockiest track Lawson have released and I really hope to see more like this from them! The backing vocals are incredible, I love the drum roll before the final chorus and the electronic aspects being the whole thing together resulting in a knock-your-socks-off-powerful track. Oh and we can't forget the guitar solo! Joel did an amazing job and I can't wait to see this song live!
Next is the first single from the album; Roads. The Nashville influence returns and the foot tapping continues with yet another catchy, uplifting scorcher of a track! Tenth on the album is I Look Anyway; a mid tempo track with thick, catchy oohs and a full, dense arrangement. This song really highlights the production on the track; with clean, crisp guitars, beautifully defined ghost notes on the snare and well balanced harmonies. Next is Used To Be Us which was released as a promotional track a week before the album was released and you can check out my full review here.
The final track on the standard version of the album is Love And War which is one of my favourites on the track. It has a feel to it which we haven't heard from Lawson before and I can't put my finger on it but I think it takes influence from blues tracks. I love Alyssa Bonagura's vocals in the background of the song and I can't help but love the marimba (I think it's a marimba, many unknowns in this song!) I love the lyrics throughout the song and the chorus is amazing with the guitars in the background and female backing vocals!
Moving onto the Deluxe Edition songs! Now my only problem with this album is the fact that it kind of feels like those of us who bought the Deluxe box set got ripped off a little bit as out of the seven extra tracks, three were from the Lawson EP, one was from the Roads EP and one was a promotional track leaving only two completely new tracks. However, I do like having all of the songs on one CD rather than dotted across different singles and EPs so I'll let them off. The Deluxe Edition comes in a fancy presentation box with a black and white version of the album cover on the front and the track listing on the back. Once the lid is lifted, it reveals a signed print of each of the members' front and side view combined in a mind boggling way. Have a look below and you'll see what I mean! Below that is a large lyrics booklet full of images, lyrics and album credits, a guitar pick and finally, the album! The Deluxe Edition album includes a CD and DVD featuring music videos and a behind the scenes look at the making of the album. It's all VERY nice!
Track number thirteen is Mountains which is INCREDIBLE live (check out my review here #HowSmoothWasThatPlug) and carries on the theme of the track with epic harmonies, catchy riffs and an amazing guitar solo. We Are Kings is next which is more relaxed than the previous track (it even includes a splash of whistling) with less heavier guitars and more reserved drums but is still awesome! Fifteenth on the album is Love Is You which I loved since the first time I heard it! It's along the same theme as Where My Love Goes and with acoustic guitars, pianos and strings and is probably one of my favourite Lawson tracks so far! Under The Sun is next on the album and is kind of a cross between Mountains and We Are Kings (which makes sense as it was between the two on the Lawson EP). It's another energetic, catchy track with plenty of oohs.
Seventeenth on the album is Up In Flames which is slightly slower but retains the powerful drums and massive choruses. The last two tracks on the album are newbies with the first being Champion which starts out super acoustic until the chorus kicks in with motivational lyrics that would make anyone jump out of bed in the morning. I'm definitely a fan! Finally, The Life Of Michael May closes the album and is very similar to Champion with acoustic verses and full power choruses. This song really builds as it progresses in a similar way to Where My Love Goes and again, I am a fan!
As a whole, the album contains the signature Lawson sound but with a more creative use of synths and experimentation with different genres. There are songs that would fit in well with the last album but there are also country tracks, heavier tracks and more acoustic tracks. Chapman Square followed a similar theme throughout the album whereas Perspective has a more varied track listing from the funky Rio to the rocky Lion's Den. My personal favourites are Only Water, Lion's Den, Love And War and The Life Of Michael May but there definitely isn't a track on the album that I don't like! I can't speak highly enough of this album and would recommend it to anyone!
Thanks for reading! Sophie