Lamar Holley “The Color of Day”
Lamar Holley has been busy making childrens pop music since we heard his Confessions as a College Student. And he certainly starts off with the goofy kiddy theme “Planet Puzz,” but he examines the growth and death of teenage romance with the remainder of the album. “Roller Coaster” is a peppy pop tune, that gradually grows from kiddie theme to full fledged teen crush on the catchy “One and One.” This song is the album highlight, most similar to Confessions layered pop style.
Holley’s next song is the subtle moving ballad keyboard focused, “Beside You.” Next, “Acting in Love” is the true story of a New York City actor who met his future wife at an audition. With “Are You Really Mine?” he begins to question whether his girl really loves him in a show-tune styled monologue. “Feeling Famous” is a burst of optimism with its Beatlesque rhythm guitar. Things start to slow down after that, as the tone of the songs gradually trace the break up. The song cycle ends with the dramatic “Who Am I?” and the renewal of spirit in “Joe.” While it doesn’t surpass his debut, Holley’s vision holds as a very satisfying follow-up.
David Brookings “the maze”
Seattle singer/songwriter David Bookings is back with his 6th album. As a songwriter Brookings growth since 2009 is subtle but equally visible, since his move to the West Coast. Brookings guitar centric style is a hybrid of Kenny Howes and Jeremy, and he gets right to it on “If I Don’t Make It Back” with up-beat, hand clapping rhythms and solid solo breaks. The songs are sort of semi-autobiographical, “Cora” is a standout with rich instrumentation and fuzz guitar chorus; a great character study tune.
I’m sure most indie musicians appreciate “The Greatest Songwriter No One Ever Heard,” who “used to be an outcast, used to be a nerd” channeling his soul into music. Another highlight is the crunchy “Heroin Donna” and the title track with its Lennonesque echoing melody. “I’ll Wait Up For You” is another easy-going slice of life, with a tight composition and a terrific middle eight. Brookings is a young artist with a melodic gift and we should encourage him to continue his journey. Highly Recommended.