Saturday, January 20, 2007

Larry Lane - Melanoma

Hear The Track Here

Third time around for MP3 Unsigned's Larry Lane, and I think he hopes he will fare better this time. Well, I hope so too. This is not to say that the two tracks I have reviewed of his aren't any good - just maybe not my style. I must say though that Broke and Lonely (December 2006) was much more my kind of stuff, it being pretty much a standard blues track and I do have a very soft spot for the blues in any form. On the surface of it, Larry is a competent, adept guitarist and a decent songwriter albeit with a distinct American tinge to his music that makes it a softer rock than maybe I am used to. Still, there is always the next track so I suppose we had better get on with it.

Melanoma, besides being the title of this track, is a type of skin cancer and doesn't seem like the kind of subject material that would raise too many laughs and certainly not something you would hear blasting out of your radio. Still, that's what m,akes the online Indie scene work for me, we get to write pretty much whatever we want. Larry explains that three members of his family (including himself) has been struck by this illness so he certainly has the right to write a song about it. In common with all the Larry Lane tracks I have heard, the production has a tameness that doesn't help to project the music in any meaningful way - and in this particular case - to the tracks ultimate detriment. If there is one track that needs anger and power, it should be this one but Larry gives it a soft rock approach that - for me anyway - sucks all the power from the lyrics. Considering those lyrics are incisive, angry and defiant, the track washes it all in a kind of musical bromide that, to be honest, made me clench my teeth in despair.

We all have to work with what we've got, and I would be the first to cut someone a break because of the equipment they have at their disposal, but then there is a point where cutting that same break does no-one any favours. Personally, I think Larry has a deft hand at songwriting - and he certainly picks some worthwhile subjects - but for my money he really needs to pick up his game where the final polish is concerned. Angry songs like this demand an agressive, demanding arrangement and delivery and - sorry - this doesn't cut it at all. Again though I am struck by this artists musical chops and his songwriting ability - even on such a hard subject - I just wish the rest of the act could do the same. Still, there's always another time eh? All in all, I think this is a bit of a missed opportunity for Larry Lane because - with the right arrangement and production this could be a tremendous track, especially when that 'burn me away' chorus starts....

A harrowing track with a puzzlingly light approach.

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