Sunday, 10 January 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Laura Gibson - Beasts of Season

Once the first note drifts past her lips, you know Laura Gibson’s got a problem. But, for once, it’s not those dreary tales of love that so often burdens singer-songwriters. No, Gibson’s torment is much more constricting. Y’see, the Portland-based songstress sounds like every other female cooer furrowing out an alt-folk pathway, suggesting she’s set for open-mic obscurity. Which is a real pity, because her fourth studio album Beasts of Season is a delicate, sometimes breathtaking, gasp of reflective paean and instrumentation. Standout number Spirited crashes in like waves against a shoreline; the wilful congregation of string and percussion leading a charge for Gibson’s pressing mew. Gloomier of tone, Funeral Song and Sleeper’s brass-parp weeping are devine, tear-duct moistening moments. Yet for all its organic charms, this is a record destined to skim the ears as late night silence-filler. And that, no matter how Gibson weaves it, is definitely a problem.

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