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5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, January 8, 2013
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Editorial Reviews


WOW!! Stephen makes quite a pop splash here on his 2013 Kool Kat debut! Playing every note on the record, he proudly wears his pop influences on his sleeve. 'Small White House" would pass for a Brian Wilson-penned song. His inner Jeff Lynne pops up on both 'Pale Yellow' and the 12-string laced 'Words To Say'." It's intelligent, well written, and completely catchy. Power pop, with loads of great hooks, melodies and harmonies. A masterful melange of 60's, 70's, and 80's guitar rock mixed and matched with no concern for the namecheck. That's how good this is. Five stars isn't enough. Six, maybe!"

- --MR Gomez

"What do you think would happen if you threw The Goldbergs, The Beatles, Three Hour Tour, Teenage Fanclub (in their fuzzy period), Big Star, The Posies (circa 'Frosting On The Beater'), 'Pet Sounds' period Brian Wilson, and the Electric Light Orchestra into a giant pop blender? You'd get Stephen Lawrenson, that's what!" --Max Humphries

Although the name of Stephen Lawrenson's new album is certainly clever, let's hope it doesn't become an obscurity or curiosity because songs this good deserve to be heard by everyone who appreciates first-class pop cuisine. Putting the power into pop, 'Your Karma' rocks insistently to a burly beat, and the fuzzy fragrance of 'Thank You' follows a similar pattern, with its ripping riffage and high energy deliverance.The title track of the disc swings and swaggers with cool breaks and melodies, and the piano based 'Pale Yellow' blinks and shines with naked emotions, then mushrooms into a towering chorus of wailing six-string samplings and heavenly sighs. Supervised by ringing guitars and gentle harmonies, 'Words To Say' kicks in as a surefire folk pop nugget, and the detailed and dainty 'Small White House' offers a marvelous mix of jaunty keyboard fills and jolly ragtime rhythms. Confident and cozy vocals, amplified by pitch perfect phrasing, guide the tunes on Obscuriousity (Kool Kat Musik) to greatness. As well, the arrangements are meticulously constructed, and the hooks are imaginative and unique. Strands of Cheap Trick, Big Star and the Cavedogs are frequently sensed throughout the proceedings, but Stephen definitely injects his own distinctive personality and perspectives into his fine material. Artistically rewarding and catchy enough to infiltrate the mainstream masses, Obscuriousity is the kind of album all serious pop rock musicians aspire to make. --Beverly Patterson
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 8, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Kool Kat
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #817,797 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Every CD Stephen Lawrenson puts out is a musical masterpiece. One would think, as with a lot of other bands, the song writing quality might drop or differ or become monotonous, but it never does! I guess when you put out a release every five years, you can use the time wisely, as Lawrenson does. It's apparent he takes great pains to be sure that the quality is maintained or surpassed with every release. If you're curious, his early works are just as good and "Obscuriousity" is magnificent. Listening to this with headphones on is a power popper's wet dream. Great vocals, hooks galore, wonderful harmonies and a mastery of each musical instrument without going overboard with any unneeded notes and/or misplaced solos. Not one note sounds forced! The inevitable Beatles comparison will be tossed in, but his music is so much more. His influences go far beyond one or even a couple of bands. Make good use of the samples Amazon provides, then do yourself a favor and give this a listen before it becomes as obscure as his older work. I'm willing to bet that once you've heard this, you'll scoop up all the available back catalog, as well. There's been a lot of criminally overlooked CDs and it would be a real shame if this became one. It's been quite some time since I wrote a review, but the music is too good not to pass on to other power pop lovers. I'd also like to see Stephen Lawrenson able to keep making music. You'll feel the same way.
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