Monday, August 13, 2007

Reviews:: Ferraby Lionheart

With a name like Ferraby Lionheart and song titles like The Octopus and The Ambulance, you are going to attract attention. Unfortunately, it will be as much negative as positive. You can't really drop a name like Ferraby in most circles without raising an eyebrow or two. For those smart enough to not dismiss a singer on name alone, you are about to hear a remarkable talent. This guy churns out melancholic beauty and will soon be known for his songs not his unique moniker. Ferraby gathered some positive feedback from his debut EP, and his new record - Catch the Brass Ring - is another step in the right direction.

While the original record had critics making comparisons to Elliott Smith, I find this record much more diverse. You could easily compare his style to many other greats, including Rufus Wainright (The Car Maker and the aforementioned The Octopus and the Ambulance), The Beatles and even Ryan Adams (on the delightfully sad Put Me in Your Play). Balancing folk guitar and piano, Ferraby constructs simple, strong pop melodies, but the key to his appeal for me is how he flushes out the tracks with horns, chimes, percussion, and strings. While this might seem like an easy recipe to follow, Ferraby's fantastic sound actually highlights how often people come short when trying to combine the same ingredients.

Nowhere is this showcased more than Vermont Avenue. The simple guitar riff he uses on this 2-minute ditty is one you could hear in almost any coffee shop, but the string arrangement and glockenspiel make you pay attention and you get caught up in Ferraby's soothing voice. The stabbing strings on Call Me the Sea lighten up the sad, piano driven ballad and instead of drifting off in depression, you float away in an almost dreamy state of bliss.

Ferraby moves at a slower pace than the bustling city he calls home. Usually content to walk, even the slightest change in pace (like the pep he adds to his step on A Bell and Tumble or the big band intro and pace of Before We're Dead) stands out. The swirling harmonies really sound great and Ferraby lets his acoustic take center stage on this one (with nice support from the strings and flourishes of horns). He adds a childlike wonder and whimsy to the songs - "I miss you like the honey jug misses the bear" - and even pays tribute to his hero (Gene Wilder) on the Youngest Frankenstein.

Essentially, Ferraby seems like one of the most sincere musicians going; the type of guy who'd hope does well and his music is certainly good enough to warrant the attention.
MP3:: Small Planet
Video:: Crack in Time

web site :: myspace

Posted at 5:29 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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