Jamie Lawson – Jamie LawsonCultureMusicAlbum reviews
When Ed Sheeran announced the launch of Gingerbread Man Records, the public’s eyes and ears pricked with anticipation as to who would be the first of his many potential signings. After one listen through Jamie Lawson’s self-titled album, it’s not surprising that the charming 39-year-old singer-songwriter resonated with Sheeran’s instincts.
Lawson’s fourth studio album (his first on Sheeran’s label) covers all the foundations of a purely satisfying and attractive acoustic pop chart-topper. Wasn’t Expecting That, the lead single from the album, headlines the 11-part journey of Lawson and his acoustic companion. Besides appearing in a previous record, it provides a gentle overture to the album with the singer’s sweet vocal tone and his tender guitar plucking, laced with delicate drum hits and glittering piano harmonies. Equally appealing is All Is Beauty. Doing what it says on the tin, the unison melody and rich vocal harmonies, married with a finely woven guitar line, reverberate a subtle Simon & Garfunkel-like sonority that is graceful and soothing.
The difficulty that lies with Lawson’s troubadour personality is that it instantly draws comparisons and people’s attention to the idea that he comes across as a direct reflection of Sheeran. However, Lawson’s unique voice is subtly distinct, as expressed in tracks like Cold in Ohio where his deeper, sonorous character (like a brightly coloured Biffy Clyro) serves the warm backdrop well. Perhaps to counter such an impression further, Lawson ambles towards unashamedly pop moments like The Only Conclusion and Ahead of Myself, echoing the likes of James Morrison. While the bouncy propulsion, lively brass and choral exchanges of The Only Conclusion and Ahead of Myself effectively distinguish them within the album, Lawson doesn’t seem to be on equal terms with the vibrant backdrop. As a result, the production deadens his mellow voice, rather than lifting it up.
Despite the great expectation weighed on the English singer-songwriter, Jamie Lawson is beautifully subdued and emotionally powerful in equal measure. With his label boss/main man by his side, hopefully he can find the right balance between sharing an affinity with Ed Sheeran and discovering his individual musical quality.
Jamie Lawson is released on 9th October 2015, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Wasn’t Expecting That here: