A Little Brighter

A Little Brighter

by Pete Lawrie

CD

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Overview

A Little Brighter

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/10/2011
Label: Island Uk
UPC: 0602527538204
catalogNumber: 2753820

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pete Lawrie   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Acoustic 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
Mark Bates   Programming,Additional Production
Fraser T. Smith   Composer
Jules Buckley   String Arrangements
Mike Shankleman   Programming
James Clarke   Engineer
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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