A Little Brighter

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
Self-describing his sound as "Southern blues country rock skiffle hip tronica," Welsh singer/songwriter Pete Lawrie appears determined from the outset to dispel any John Mayer-meets-Ray LaMontagne comparisons that his whiskey-soaked soulful vocals will undoubtedly inspire. While this proclamation of eclecticism could have been just another hackneyed soundbite, his debut album, A Little Brighter, reveals that his genre-straddling claims certainly aren't misplaced. Produced by Rollo Armstrong, brother of Dido and longtime member of Faithless, there might not be any obvious traces of "hip," but its 11 tracks do incorporate Southern blues (the laid-back acoustics of "Poor Man's...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
Self-describing his sound as "Southern blues country rock skiffle hip tronica," Welsh singer/songwriter Pete Lawrie appears determined from the outset to dispel any John Mayer-meets-Ray LaMontagne comparisons that his whiskey-soaked soulful vocals will undoubtedly inspire. While this proclamation of eclecticism could have been just another hackneyed soundbite, his debut album, A Little Brighter, reveals that his genre-straddling claims certainly aren't misplaced. Produced by Rollo Armstrong, brother of Dido and longtime member of Faithless, there might not be any obvious traces of "hip," but its 11 tracks do incorporate Southern blues (the laid-back acoustics of "Poor Man's Game"), country (the handclapping rose-tinted ode to his homeland "If Not for You"), rock (the Springsteen-esque blue-collar vibes of "Fell into the River"), skiffle (the stomping fusion of organs, forceful guitars, and shuffling beats of "How Could I Complain?"), and "tronica" (on the lush synths and warm basslines of the new wave-tinged "Just Dust"). But what could have been a contrived exercise in ticking every box instead appears entirely organic and natural, thanks to its unfussy production and the conviction and authenticity of Lawrie's wise-beyond-his-years tones. Indeed, he even finds the space to tackle string-soaked soul ("Half as Good"), skittering gospel (the album's highlight, "Paperthin"), punchy nu-folk ("In the End"), and groove-laden chillout ("All That We Keep"), without ever sounding like he's merely jumping on several different bandwagons. Only on the dreary barroom ballads "Dance on Your Own" and "Jimmy and the Birds on Fire" does Lawrie veer into the kind of formulaic singer/songwriter territory the rest of the album has so effortlessly avoided. Mirroring its title, A Little Brighter is a cleverly understated and optimistic debut which, at the very least, should ensure that Lawrie won't be disregarded as another ten-a-penny troubadour.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/10/2011
  • Label: Island Uk
  • UPC: 602527538204
  • Catalog Number: 2753820

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Pete Lawrie Primary Artist, Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Hammond B3
Sam Dixon Bass
Patrick Roberts String Quartet
Jeremy Stacey Drums
Amy Wilson String Quartet
Mark Bates Keyboards
Olly Knights Vocals
Melanie Lewis Background Vocals
Angela Brooks Background Vocals
Justin Quinn Mandolin
Heritage Orchestra Strings
Gavin Fitzjohn Background Vocals
Jules Buckley Conductor
Mike Shankleman Bass, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards
Marianne Haynes String Quartet
Ben Trigg String Quartet
Paddy Byrne Piano
John Blease Drums
Elliot Wall Background Vocals
Lloyd Reynolds Vocals
Katie Jane Winfield Vocals, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Chris Braide Composer
Sam Dixon Composer
Andrew Thomas Programming
Rollo Programming, Producer
James Banbury String Arrangements
James Clarke Engineer
Mark Bates Programming, Additional Production
Fraser T. Smith Composer
Jules Buckley String Arrangements
Mike Shankleman Programming
Paddy Byrne Composer, Programming, Producer, Vocal Producer
Pete Lawrie Composer, Programming, Producer, Additional Production
Debbie Scanlan Cover Photo
Dave Dye Engineer
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