Album – Songs of Want and Loss – Lionel Neykov

Posted by admin on January 28th, 2008

  • Band / Artist : Lionel NeykovmySpace
  • Genre : Acoustic / Soul
  • Sample Track Download : N/A
  • Buy CD : CD Baby
  • Buy Digital Download : iTunes
  • Rating : 8.5 out of 10

It’s no surprise given the strong Eastern European overtones of Lionel’s surname, that this 9 track offering has a similar, strong flavour, that at times enhances Lionel’s voice, and at other time totally falls away to leave a voice that whilst not the most melodious, has a realness that is both charming and heartwarming. I have to admit though, listening to a track here and there on various podcasts, I was pretty much on the fence. Lionel has a very distinctive voice, but I had a nagging sense that it may not hold up for an entire album. I’m glad to say though, my previous fears, were totally unfounded.

The album opens with “I Need You” which starts, predictably enough, with soothing acoustic guitar, but it’s when you hear Lionel’s voice for the first time, that your aural senses are almost stopped in their tracks. When the mandolin / balalyka is introduced, the track takes on a real seasoned veteran feel, which is surprising, seeing as Lionel only picked up a guitar for the first time 7 years ago. “Hey Ruth” is another track that really stands out and has also been featured on a few podcasts and was indeed the first track I heard of Lionel’s. “Freeze My Senses” is a very interesting track, which at times feels like it’s should be performed in a Broadway production, maybe that’s accidental as Lionel is currently living in New York city.

“In the Sunshine” was a track I really enjoyed, but I couldn’t help feeling that it needed a bit more Summer injected into it. It’s hard to explain exactly what I mean, but it’s nearly there but not quite. Still great though. The album rounds off with “Brother’s Again” and with this song, I noticed that the Eastern European feel, whilst still present, is not as strong as towards the latter half of the album. This had me in conflict with myself, as it’s that earlier sound that grabbed my attention, but this final song is a cracker. Oh well, I’ve got the best of both worlds.

As a debut release, this is very striking, especially considering Lionel has only been playing the guitar for 7 years. It has some rough edges, but I think had these been smoothed out, this would be a very sterile sounding album. This is certainly one artists I’m very excited about and look forward to seeing how he follows up this release.

Conclusion : A great find and an artist that deserves some major recognition. It’s only early days in his recording career and also in his playing career, but I can well see exciting things ahead.

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