trageser.com
Music Review

Home
Computers
Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Interviews
Links
Favorite quotations
Contact Me



Perfect for a soundtrack

Three Flights From Alto Nido
Three Flights From Alto Nido
By Greg Laswell

Vanguard Records: 2008

Buy it on CD now from Amazon.com
Buy it digitally now from Amazon.com


This review first appeared in Turbula in September 2008.

San Diego's Greg Laswell doesn't write soundtracks – and yet his moody and atmospheric folk-rock is regularly ending up on a lot of TV shows. "Smallville" and "One Tree Hill." "Numb3rs" and "Without a Trace." "Shark" and "The Hills." All of these shows have featured songs from previous Laswell albums, as did the film "Daniika."

Laswell's latest album, "Three Flights From Alto Nido," should continue that run of success. Immediately accessible melodies are presented in absolutely lush arrangements. Laswell has a warmly resonant singing voice, and his lyrics are intelligently intriguing.

And while that combination of smooth melodicism and smooth production do make for nice background music perfect for setting a scene on screens small and big, his better songs here – "Been a Year," "Days Go On" and "How the Day Sounds" (the latter two of which first appeared last year on a six-song EP) in particular – deserve to be heard on their own.

If there's a drawback here, it's that every track has the same downtempo vocal approach (even those songs with uptempo beats) – it's as if all the songs are meant for some teen-angst drama on the CW network. It would be nice to hear Laswell get out of his singing comfort zone and tackle an out-and-out rocker to shake things up.