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PopMatters Music Short Takes
our brief reviews of new releases
23 March 2004
Trevor Lissauer, Transit Plaza (Happy Frown)
Trevor Lissauer has been an actor for most of his adult life, but for some reason, he decided that music would be his new calling. The Dallas native, with some help from drummer Keith Tenenbaum and bassist Barry Whittaker, is a bit like Live's lead singer Ed Kowalczyk mixed with Paul Simon. "Unnamed" is a softer acoustic pop tune that has a catchy riff but is often underplayed. "I miss you now my friend," Lissauer sings before a safe guitar solo ensues. Unfortunately it drags on too long. The arena-like anthems are attempted, but with lines like "Fucked up my Feng Shui" can this be taken seriously on "I'm a Monkey" and the adjacent "On". However, the lighter pop melancholia oozing from "Happy Frown" and "I See You" is quite good, a la Travis in the band's The Invisible Band heyday or solo George Harrison material. The second half of the album sounds a bit more pop-oriented, with "Okay" being one of the album's zeniths. But there are some other gems, especially "Remember" and the lovable "Windows". When Lissauer ups the tempo slightly, he seems far better off on track such as "Place I Found", with the nice Neil Finn-ish timbre to his voice. There is also a spacey, Floydian bend to the closing "About the Sun". It's a good to very good record.
.: posted by Editor 10:45 AM