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Nathan Lawr and the Minotaurs

A Sea of Tiny Lights

(Minotaur Music; US: 2 Oct 2007; UK: Available as import)

Having worked with Canadian rock bands such as FemBots and Royal City, Nathan Lawr could also have graduated from the Blue Rodeo Canadian College of Roots Music with the gorgeous and light “Righteous Heart” which saunters along without a care in the world. Lawr’s voice has a gentle warble along the lines of Ron Sexsmith, but his musical chops don’t wobble with the retro-ish vibe encompassing “The Glass”. Sexsmith’s signature traits come to the fore during the gorgeous “Make Yourself”. Lyrically, Lawr has mined a lot of topics for his songs, including the kidnapping of Canadian James Loney during the mid-tempo and melancholic jazz-tinted pop nugget “Footsteps”. Through it all, the artist is confident but without the strut or swagger, instead relying on well-crafted pop tunes such as “If You Don’t Believe” to win listeners over. Perhaps the best of the bunch is “Oh No!” that ambles along in the vein of a Ricky Nelson or Everly Brothers ballad. Another solid singer-songwriter from north of the 49th, who would have thought?

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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