Greg Laswell – Landline

January 01, 1970



Over the course of his career, Greg Laswell’s been prone to
favor nocturnal laments, twilight rhapsodies both mournful and melancholy. Landline follows suit, but even in the
midst of the dark desire, Laswell manages to soar through music that’s majestic
as well as meditative. Happily then, he manages to do so in a way that doesn’t
compromise his signature stance.


Engaging in a series of stirring duets with such relative
newcomers as Sara Bareilles, Elizabeth Ziman, Sia and Ingrid Michaelson, he
finds his counterparts lifting him to a new plain, allowing songs such as “Come
Back Down” and “Dragging You Around” to inject a celebratory send-off to his low
cast musings. Elsewhere, he sounds remarkably reassuring, given the croon and
caress that settles over “New Year’s Eves,” “Back to You” and the graceful
title track. Despite the ominous tone that pervades “Another Life to Lose” and
the eerie, palpable ache of “Eyes on You,” Landline seems remarkably free of the tension and remorse that Laswell’s wrestled with


While it could hardly be hailed for any feel-good joviality,
it’s likely that even those unaccustomed to his gothic folk reflection will
find comfort in this mostly serene setting. If Laswell hasn’t made his
masterpiece – and it’s easy to argue that he has – clearly he’s come close.


DOWNLOAD: “Landline,” “Another Life to Lose,” “Dragging You around” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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