Good Company When Feeling Miserable
Some people are not just singers or songwriters, they are storytellers. Greg Laswell is one of these people. Through Toledo is a collection of deeply personal songs told in an easygoing, conversational way which makes this album an enjoyable listen. Although these are his experiences, they are universal and relatable.The sequencing on this album is planned to give one the feeling of a live performance. The first couple of songs have an introductory quality, as if Mr. Laswell hasn’t quite warmed up his voice. But by the time the third track, “Worthwhile,” begins, he hits his stride. On songs like “Do What I Can” and “Long Way Around” it is easy to compare the quality of his voice to that of Chris Martin of Coldplay. Although Laswell is slightly higher in pitch, both singers still manage to have a gravely texture giving their voices warmth and edge.
The lyrics on the album are not those of traditional pop fodder tales of love, but rather stories of loss and separation which manage to avoid being self-pitying or depressing. The title track sums up the feeling of optimism infused in the album despite the serious subject; “I figure one day soon I’ll snap out of this.” “High and Low” and “Come Undone” are simple and direct, not only in their lyrics, but also in their orchestrations. The music stays clean on both â€šÃ„Ã® a solo piano providing the main accompaniment on “High and Low” â€šÃ„Ã® to support the lyrics which convey a stripped down honesty and rawness of emotion.
When looking for someone to commiserate with, Greg Laswell will be there.