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W. W. Lowman

Plain Songs

(Arbouse; US: 14 Oct 2006; UK: Unavailable)

At seven tracks, W. W. Lowman’s Plain Songs could be considered an EP. But since the shortest tune here is over four minutes with most clocking well over five, we’ll say it’s full-length. Lowman spent three years making this lush, orchestral pop album; and it sounds like it was well worth the wait. Lowman’s relaxed delivery makes the songs glide along, especially the lovely “Tea Til Ten” that brings David Gilmour’s solo work to mind if influenced by XTC. Things morph into a soulful, Sade-ish realm during “Goodbye Greg” with an equal amount of elegant chops, briefly settling the mood down before picking things up again. The musician’s soft, almost sleep-inducing feel is a definite plus throughout, especially on the hushed “Please Don’t Think it’s Funny” which brings Daniel Lanois solo work to mind. Two of the longer pieces begin with “Rasperate”, a nine-minute song that is a jazzy tune with ample twists and turns. The only knock on the song is how it comes off a bit like elevator music. “Lee & Me” continues down this road, resembling the second half of one mammoth tune.

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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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