Tuesday, 8 December 2009
J-Dawg, checking in
Lamar Holley is a man clearly in control of his instruments, if not his emotions. Emotional, but never angsty, Holley bares his soul in a stylized tale of college life that is equal parts auto-biography and romanticized indie sensibility.
That's not to say that it's all high-concept hipster irony at play here. Confessions of a College Student stands out not just as a debut album with a clever theme, but also as the first sign of an artist that I'm sure we'll all hear more from in the future. This is one slickly produced album, and Lamar Holley is quite a talent. This album is being billed as a "one-man pop-musical", and indeed, the range of instrument proficiency shown is staggering. Every note comes across crisp and clean, and his choir background really comes through not only in his chipper stylings but also in the narrative nature of the lyrics.
But these are no tired show-tunes. Every track seems to contain it's own gem of a well executed pop influence. "Forgotten Friends" wears it's Beach Boys and Beatles influences on it's tear soaked sleeves, and "Slow Dance" would not sound out of place in a play-list of downbeat Queen B-sides. Holley's stylistic callbacks will pepper your entire vinyl collection like a shotgun blast, and his range of influences manage to keep every song fresh without ever straining the albums continuity.
While Confessions of a College Student may frighten some off with it's stylings as a soundtrack to a non-existent musical, I defy anyone to try out a track like "Biology" and not find themselves taken in by Lamar Holley's enthusiasm and talent. He's similar to the likes of Math The Band, Harry and the Potters, Ben Folds, and Lemon Demon but he's got a Beatle-esque poppy feel to him that pretty much anybody can enjoy!
Check out promo tracks "Biology" and "Pretend That She's Ugly".
Buy the full album at: