Album – Self Titled – Bayard Russell

Posted by admin on February 21st, 2008

I have to admit, I overlooked this album, purely because I kept misreading Bayard as barnyard, so thought it was going to be something a little left of centre. While thumbing through my CD in pile recently, I looked at the CD again and first noticed my previous mistake and then got hung up on the name, as Bayard isn’t your every day Tom, Dick or Harry name.

The first track to greet me, was “Living at My Moms” and when I heard the electronic inspired beats, I thought this was going to be some teen, locked in a bedroom with a new synthesizer. As the track unfolded, I found my self being drawn in, by the simplicity of the track, but also by the wonderful production, with the vocal and music mix almost spot on. This is one of those great tracks that really benefits from listening with headphones, which I predominantly do with most of the music on Indie Launchpad.

“Just Feel” is a real slow burner, with enough going on musically to intrigue, but with vocals that wash over you. Similarly “I Know” is deceptively simple, but really manages to hook, with it’s almost Eastern, subtle undertone. “Uh-Huh” is like one of those annoying repetitive songs that you sing as a kid, like “99 Bottles of Beer” or “I Know a Song That Will Get On Your Nerves”. However there is a real charm in it, and at just a tad over 2 minutes, it’s refreshingly brief.

“A Candle That’s Burning” is one of the real gems on the album. Again, there’s that deceptive simplicity, but it also has a really great hook, that just grabs you by the lapels and shakes you. This would not be your usual chart track, but I could well imagine it being a surprise hit. “I Will Chase You” is far more chart friendly, but while it is more upbeat and contemporary, it just doesn’t have the same charm, unlike “City Lights” which again pulls back to a more simple arrangement, which is just terrific stuff.

“My Heartbreak” is for me the weak link and wouldn’t have impacted the album at all, had it have been left off. Everything about it reminds me of that teen locked in his bedroom as mentioned in the opening of this review. Not so much of the music, but the vocals, which are flat and very uninspiring, when compared to the rest of the tracks. “I Will Make You Proud” again, is a more upbeat track, and is just a joy to listen to. The vocals again however are slightly off, but it doesn’t detract from the song at all. “Uptown Harbour” rounds off the album wonderfully, with it’s simple piano accompaniment.

This is actually a re-release from 2006, with the actual new release date set for early March, however as you can see from above, it’s actually available now from all the usual places.

Conclusion : A wonderful find in amongst my in pile. I love the simplicity of the arrangements which really allows the tracks to shine. With one small blemish in a field of great tracks, this is definitely a great album, especially for fans of a more acoustic sound.

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