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Author Topic: Peter Lacey's New Way Lane  (Read 463 times)
Peter Reum
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« on: July 07, 2016, 02:35:56 PM »

My friend and colleague in both the musical and literary worlds, Peter Lacey, has recorded a new album, entitled New Way Lane. I have taken time to get to know this album, hoping to have the time to absorb it.In a recent interview, Peter said that once long ago, an English band, The Beatles, had captivated the UK with their music, and that he remembered walking around his neighborhood and hearing Beatle music in nearly every home coming out as he walked by. This lp has  a distinct charm because it is so very English. Peter has, at the same time explored some new themes, with lyrics celebrating a number of English persons, some that are quite moving.

The first side offers several highly melodic tunes beginning with "The Star of My Own Show." This track strikes me as a celebration of the ability to make life fun, even when alone. We are the creators of our own view of our world. Musically, the tune shadows Paul McCartney's late Sixties work in the Beatles. The title track, New Way Lane, is a stately track which recalls God Only Knows musically, as  well as Penny Lane. Peter's vocal here is quite satisfying, recalling Paul's laid back tunes.

Laundro Matt, a soulful track, bounces along with a Booker T and the M.G.s feel. The tune offers a nice contrast from the first two tunes. Lyrically, the tune has a remedy to everyday vexation, and that is to get stoned at Matt's house. Phi Slamma Jama...relieve the stress with a head clearing from Matt...a laundromat for your everyday stress.Jasmine (Blooms Tonight) is a departure for Peter from his previous tunes. Over a ska/reggae beat, the story unfolds slowly. Jasmine has discovered freedom in her soul as she dances. The tune's narrator calls the play by play as a young woman embraces her sexual side.

Peter's Bella Donna explores obsession. The music perks along like a coffee pot, the piano being used as a rhythm keeper. The nature of Bella Donna is subtlely disclosed early on, as the tune's storyteller looks at himself in the mirror and sees himself wasting away, the result of too many goodies at Matt's place. A hypothetical return of God is God Send's theme. The return of God to Earth is highlighted by an unexpected prosperity equals reality theme which rankles the old church. This tune could have been written by Randy Newman.

The Afternoon Nap is a tune that brings  a sense of contentment that might be a reminder of some of Brian Wilson's work on the Friends and 20/20 albums. The tune is gently jaunty at first, leading into a lovely tag that Brian would be proud of that you absolutely HAVE to hear. Home Free is a song that seems to express both grief and relief. Perhaps the person sung about in this ballad passed away, or is gone and never heard from again. This is a highlight of New Way Lane. Desperate Dan is a tune that can be heard in many ways. It is one of the lesser songs here, but offers some tasty guitar ala Joe Walsh. Old Fashioned Cafe, like many of the songs on New Way Lane, offers a picture of life in a small town or neighborhood that is frequented by a group of characters who hang together, clinging to the one social center that this village or neighborhood has had for years. It is a place these folks protect because life without the cafe would be unbearable. The simple track, highlighted by a ukulele, provides the frame for this postcard of a way of life that is nearly gone.

Here, Out West, we have a saying that essentially means that its time to leave. We say "I think its time to head out." The album's final track is called Better Make Tracks. Of course, the other interpretation of this saying, using musical nomenclature would be....its time to begin the next album. The melody here is extremely catchy. It would be hard NOT to hear it bouncing around your brain for days after listening to it!

Okay, I'll give you the bottom line...New Way Lane is the best album Peter has released. Unless there's a Smile equivalent lurking in Peter's instrument closet, this is the most consistently satisfying album Peter has cut. It is catchy. It is lyrically clever, and it hangs together extremely well as an album. You will be glad you grabbed it while its hot! It can be found at pinkhedgehog.com


Copyright 2016 by

Peter Reum-All Rights Reserved
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