Michael Paul Lawson - Some Fights You'll Never Win

Self-released

****1/2

 

Though raised in upstate New York, Michael Paul Lawson is more closely aligned to the hill country of Texas. He travelled from his Norfolk, Virginia home to Austin, Texas to record this impressive debut album, along the way laying some family ghosts to rest. A gifted melodist with an ear for hooks that sink in more deeply with each listen, his music embodies the story-teller tradition of country/roots music. Even more remarkably he has his own sound, his own style and his own world of music.  It’s a soundtrack to real life and your ears, head, and heart deserve to hear it!   

A writer with a colourful, introspective mind he has the rare ability to open his soul and unfold his stories in a natural style that is simultaneously guileless and universal, a direct hit to the heart. The songs are inspired by family members, overheard conversations and places in his life. Some Fights You’ll Never Win

which kick-starts the album, is about falling helplessly into the vortex of life and the struggles encountered along the way. Memories And Throttle conjures up the spirit of the open road, the imagery of boundless landscapes as he travels the highway trying to forget yet another failed relationship. Its floaty, atmospheric, melodic sound is nothing short of intoxication.

Best That We Can Hope For is a poignant poetic confession of a family rift with a heart-felt melody and lyrics that are personal and introspective. Riverman is a gritty rock song about the impulse to leave everything behind and run. The imagery of a hard-workin’ man’s life is compellingly related. Valleys is another confessional journey of the heart that is as rich as it is poignant and open-eyed. Before one even gets to sifting through his verses, there’s a very good chance Michael Paul Lawson has pulled one in with a determinedly compelling vocal delivery and powerful instrumental backup.

This is honest, hypnotic and relatable music about everyday struggles we all face; a record of great depth and variety … incredibly assured, thought-provoking and astute. This guy has come out of nowhere as far as I can tell, and though this album only has seven tracks, it is more than good enough to have writers all over putting it on their lists as an album of worth. You can let the album run over and over again without getting tired of it. Quite simply this is one of the most fully realized debut albums I’ve come across in years. Michael Paul Larson is an artist to the bone who is raw, open and gritty creating a portal into the human condition.

 

www.michelpaullawson.com

 

August 2019

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