Thursday, January 1, 2009

EP Review: Laigaie in "Focus"

First of all, it's pronounced "lay-shay." Say it with me now....

On the front cover of his debut Out of Focus, Tim Laigaie is pictured in shadows, a pained expression on his face, looking every bit the sensitive singer/songwriter. But on the back cover, we see a muscular fellow walking tall, lugging his guitar case as if he's heading into a saloon to fight a bunch of outlaws and then serenade the ladies who will inevitably hail him as a hero. The EP's seven tracks reflect this balance between toughness and sensitivity, as Tim delivers these meaty pop/rock tunes with equal parts assertiveness and vulnerability.

And then there are his lyrics. Try these on for size:

"I guess the sweet ain't as sweet without the sour" (from "Last Winter")
"Welcome to the enigma masquerade" ("Eyes Wide Shut")
"Money from my pocket falls in your hands 'til there's nothin' but lint left" ("For All The Lovers")
"Life took a backseat ride, happiness subsided, and they're losing the battle to maintain" ("Quicksand")
"I knew this girl named Jen, always wanted to be a dime" ("Out of Focus")

That last one's my favorite, by the way.

Put all these ingredients together and you might become a bit confused. But what immediately struck me about Tim Laigaie is that, given the right promotion, he should have no problem catching on. His songs are catchy and memorable, with radio-friendly hooks and instantly accessible themes. From the rockin' party animal anthem "City Bred Cowboys" to the hard-times lament "Quicksand" and "Eyes Wide Shut," the obligatory ballad of a mysterious woman, Tim Laigaie's songs are familiar enough to win over mainstream audiences but different enough to stand out from the crowd. And is it just me, or is "For All The Lovers" really a mighty fine country song disguised in pop/rock attire?

The Philadelphia-based artist is currently playing out in the area, but thanks to online commerce, you can get Out of Focus pretty much anywhere. The production may be a little rough in some places and the songs a little quirky, but make no mistake about it: deep down inside, this stuff is gold.

For music and more information:

Copyright © 2009 S.J. Dibai. All rights reserved.

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