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“Somber and smooth”
Stranger Me has a familiar and consistent temperament, giving you the sense of listening to Lavere’s diary more than hearing songs; the opening “Damn Love Song” is a rhythmic statement of sorts. There is a steady flow of melancholy tones and continuous drone, yet the album is brilliantly produced. Songwriting is consistent, and more artistic than creative.
Stranger Me captures a pleasantly boomy and crisp rhythm section that backs Lavere’s soothing vocals throughout, which sets a peaceful mood: think Edie Brickell. With a continuity and familiarity about it, there are few exceptions that entice. Not content to be merely background or ambient music with soft and even tempos, a few of the better tracks really jump out at you. Prime examples, and likely the CD’s best tracks, include “Red Banks,” a hypnotic “muddy” blues and a nice change of pace, “A Great Divide,” a more jazzy number, and “Let Yourself Go (Come On),” a silky blues track that sways with a romantic wave. These selections differ from the others. They bring you into a jovial, musical trance. There is a diversity here that saves the record.
Although the tracks chosen for this project fit, stronger songwriting, or better use of dynamics would definitely push Stranger Me to the upper levels and get it the recognition it deserves. Still an excellent sounding recording that fans who seek a more relaxed tempo and smoother style will truly appreciate and enjoy. (Archer Records)
Recorded and Mixed at Music + Arts Studio, Memphis, TN
Produced by Craig Silvey
Executive Producer Ward Archer