ALBUM REVIEWS


Levy
GLORIOUS
ONE LITTLE INDIAN 8.10.07
@www.vanguard-online.co.uk


Starting out big, big, big, the single is a hymn to the wide wonderfulness of the world. Now, that shouldn't sound too crap - hasn't Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips made it ok to wear your heart on your sleeve? Anyhow, this is like big pop (Travis etc) fused with soul influences.

Levy is a band but is chiefly James Levy, songwriter. He hung out in New York some years back with the doyens of the anti-folk movement - Mouldy Peaches etc before forming a band in 2003. As some of his co-scenesters rose out of the scene (Regina Spektor), Levy managed to snag support slots with much bigger, often British bands by dint, largely of being much more mainstream than contemporaries on the scene like the unpredicatble Dufus or Jeffrey Lewis. In fact the emotional uplift is heartwarming like Michael Franti and atypical to a lot of the focus of the movement. Not that that's a bad thing, just that I don't think this deserves the anti-folk tag. This is uplifting soul-pop. And there is a great deal of mainstream potential. Potential that James is not unaware of - he's already quoted as planning to rework some of these songs to make them sound more arty prior to plonking them into a musical. Nice to have ambition...

I'm not going to give a blow-by-blow of these songs. They don't merge into each other but they do hang together as a cohesive sound and solid world view. They are all about hanging on in there, being there for your friends, watiing for the turn of the tide, love, loving life, looking on the bright side. The music takes rising patterns and uses major chords to create a sense of positivity and fortitude. The soul I mentioned earlier is less of the musical genre and more of the 'here is my soul, take a look, be my brother / sister, join in my journey'. It could be a beefier version of things like Prefab Sprout and definitely is a blood brother in spirit to Spearhead. The keynotes here are the upbeat positivity and the radio-friendly tunes. It's a big sound, produced big and wide and I reckon you're going to hear a lot more of this band soon. For a trial - check out the single, 'Glorious', or the huge ending song, ‘Beneath ‘Em All’ which has as big a chorus as Frank Zappa's 'Little Green Rosetta'.

www.indian.co.uk/levy


Ross McGibbon