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LAZENBY The Loft Years 206 Recordings (2008)


It seems Lazenby were instigated by Arctic Monkeys manager Geoff Barradale and are making a name for themselves amongst the style cognoscenti. They've even played in Selfridges stores: the cosmetics section no doubt. A glance at the cover art will reinforce their frontperson's fashionable credentials.

But is all this style over substance? Not exactly. Sarah Lazenby's vocals remind me of Roislin Murphy and Lazenby could well be a more rocked up version of Moloko.

If this album had been released even twenty years ago with big label promotion it would have been a monster and Sarah's image a PRO's dream. The songs are commercial, quirky, with some judicious use of Hammond organ which at times recalls Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger, especially to a more ancient listener. At other times, the songs have a widescreen quality befitting of a Bond theme.

The early single 'Listening To Joni' kicks things off with swirling organ, infectious backbeat and oozes class. It's not the best thing on the album, and certainly not the only single.

'Circle Of Angels', 'Let Me Live' and 'Star' are all immediately appealing whilst 'Touch Me Hold Me' and 'If' have a lounge lizard cool. And to top it all off, 'Life Goes By' is another great vehicle for Sarah's vocals this time accompanied only by Nick Lockwood on guitar.

We can't be sure whether Sarah wants to be taken seriously as the latest musical fashion diva, or lounge bar chantreuse, or perhaps both. Whatever, this is an extremely compelling debut.


Review by David Randall

GRTR! Recommended

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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