Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Langley's rootsy folk-cum-alt.country
EP Lost Companions of 2007 – recorded in Wellington –
announced a mature lyricist and a singer with a delivery like the
best Americana artists (James McMurtry particularly) with a little
Dylanesque drawl. It went past most, and this debut album is doing
the same with few mainstream media reviews, despite it including 7.13
for which he won an APRA songwriting award (country category).
Again with a small band, Langley
presents his crafted, unpretentious songs in an understated way and
he has lost some of the vocal mannerisms of the EP for a more
personal and convincing result.
The plodding Ride It Out isn't
the most promising opener but thereafter in the moody Everybody
Knows (which soars powerfully), the ballad I Don't Believe It,
that award-winner 7.13 and country-rock of The Lion and the
Virgin, and the acoustic folk of July confirm Langley is
an assured songwriter with a number of strong, interpretive voices at
his disposal. On Love and Money he adopts a worried,
world-weariness, for Blue Eyed Once he has a pastoral, poetic
optimism coupled with a sense of hurt reflection, and Let It Go
Now delivers jaunty folk-rock with an acceptance of being
“ordinary”, but by declaring his love you know/he knows he isn't.
Langley's sophistication isn't bannered obviously, and this is as fine a singer-songwriter debut album as you could expect.
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