posted on December 08, 2010 18:00
A review of the debut album from Les Shelleys
Review Snapshot: This is the debut album from the duo of Tom Brosseau and Angela Correa otherwise known as Les Shelleys. What you get here is a simple stripped down and very raw album full of impressive harmonies and some very high points. It does seem to lose its way towards the end but its still well worth a listen and I'm sure the live act would be very interesting to see.
The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10
Full Review: The album starts with the simplistic minimalist "The world is waiting for sunrise" (listen to the track below) which not only sets the tone for the rest of the album but is one of the strongest tracks here. The core of Les Shelleys sound is how the voices of Brosseau and Correa compliment each other. The is no chance of any over production here; the album was recorded on a mini-disk player on a kitchen table in a Los Angeles home with a battery powered microphone. "Green Door" is another gem that takes the simplicity to another level entirely.
At times Brosseau sounds like Ray Davies ('Cocktails for Two') but in fairness, he does do a good job at it! The cover of The Andrew Sisters' "Rum and Coca Cola" is probably the strongest song here: it's catchy and the harmonies work perfectly. Listen to it couple of times and it will stay stuck in your head:
Drinkin' Rum and Coca Cola,
Go down point Koommahnah,
Both mother and daughter,
Workin' for the yankee dollar.
From here on, things start to go downhill, the Dylan cover of "The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Caroll" is largely disappointing. I can understand that they didn't want to do a cover that was exactly the same as the original but their take on this classic is way too far away from the original. Removing the chorus was not a great move either.
The rest of the album remains generally consistent, by now the listener knows what to expect. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. The harmonies are done well in "Pastures of Plenty" by Woody Guthrie, another key track.
Overall, an enjoyable album, something different to what I'd normally be used to. A breath of fresh air.
Some of these tracks sound like they came straight from a Jason Reitman film and, who knows, some day they might be.
Les Shelleys - The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise by FatCat Records