Reviews:: Laura Gibson If You Come to Greet Me

Laura Gibson is a "cute-as-a-button" song writer from Portland. While that may sound pretty run of the mill, that's about the only thing that is average about her. She grew up in a small logging town and that helps define her sound. Her songs somehow manage to combine the talent of a seasoned chanteuse and the energy and innocence of a child. As odd as that comparison might read, it's actually a big compliment.

Her voice has the same power as other Leslie Feist and Chan Marshall, but it's when she moves into a younger, almost naive style, that you really start to embrace Laura's talent. On songs like Small Town Parade (where she dreams of a future in a small town with her man) and Hands in Pockets, Laura is almost playful and the result is fantastic.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the album - If You Come to Greet Me (HUSH Records) - are the perfect arrangements. Although sparse, Laura is somewhat of a Macgyver (I'm pretty sure she could somehow use a paperclip, an elastic and Earth's gravity to find a fantastic sound) when when it comes to adding the necessary instrumentation to her songs. Never taking the focus from her voice or her finger picked guitar riffs, she seems to use what she has laying around the studio - like the music box intro and strings on Broken Bottle, or the gentle klacks and brushed drums on Hands in Pockets - to complete the songs. Instead of trying to force layer after layer into the mix, Laura prefers to add a simple sound that simply fits the mood of the song. When you listen to Wintering and hear that staticy intro and her guitar (and little else), you just know that adding anything else would have taken away from the antiquated mood of the track.

One thing she has lying around is a stable of talented friends. Guests like Rachel and Adam Selzer from Norfolk & Western and Al James (Dolorean) make appearances, but don't be fooled into thinking they dominate the album. Their contributions are just another subtle enhancement. Each song is an intimate experience, that unfolds new sounds and emotions with each listen.

MP3:: Hands In Pockets
web page :: myspace :: hush records :: more tracks

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