The now defunct Liz Larsons, (except for 1 or 2 reunion shows), just released their first post humus record Talk Like a Male Artist. A title that is intriguing if nothing else. If you could cut this record open it would bleed hip-ness and confidence. Lou Reed would have totally taken the Larson’s out on tour if this album came out around the same time as "Transformer".
The songs are very well put together and much more interesting than their live show ever showed them to be. Liz’s vocals are in a lower register than a lot of female vocalist -- they are incredibly strong and they have a charm that you cannot ignore. Sebastian may be most complimentary guitar player NL has ever seen. He has never played second fiddle to anyone but instead he has played alongside Liz Larson (The Liz Larsons), Phil Agins, (The Royale Bothers), Matt Potter, (Fatal Film) and has pushed what they were doing to another level. The guitars are almost completely panned which gives them enough separation so that you can tell them apart and appreciate what they do for each other. This is just one thing that makes the production values for this album so good.
The slight change ups in vocal sound in the song "Petty Clovers" and the snare drum that sounds like it was recorded in a deep cave as it washes across everything at the beginning of "He Digs Lacrosse" are 2 other great points of production on the record. Talk Like a Male Artist has awesome pop sensibilities but also a great sense of self. The songs are undeniably old school coffee house artist music, with the banjo and the obvious folk influence, but with such an ability to catch the ear of average listener with catchy melodies and well placed vocal breaks. The bass and drums are not flashy but this also adds to the pop charm of the record and tight and concise rhythm section will drive and accent the songs rather than distract from them and keep people listening. It also has all the speed of a pop album in that most of it is pretty mid tempo with a few slower ballads in there and couple sped up sections of songs.
I must say that this record was a bit of a shocker for me. I didn’t expect to enjoy it half as much as I did so allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised as well and check out Talk Like a Male Artist from The Liz Larsons. Also, don’t stop listening to the CD until the bitter end, you’ll be glad you did.