Saturday, October 8, 2011

Album Review: Greg Humphreys - People You May Know

Greg Humphreys - People You May Know

The first couple tracks on Greg Humphreys People You May Know are a delightful journey to a long forgotten era when humor was as big a part of performance as was enjoyable rhythms and a comfortable voice. These songs look back to the smooth and steady bump and thump of acoustic bass, softly brushed drum kit, a tickling of the ivories and a sultry voice crooning into a ribbon microphone for a slowly waltzing room of flapper dresses and pin stripe suits. Humphreys succeeds in a very delicate and elegant style here. The album's lead off song "Only One of Me" is a classic finger snapping waltz possessing fun Christmas song-like cheer which is kept in check with a few quick witted one-liners. The devilish grin in his eyes is evident in the recording and it translates to an amused smile for the listener. And where the former is a devilish grin, the second track "Must Be the Moon" is an evil little wink. Humphreys cleverly orchestrates the ol' one-two as the song's helplessly romantic protagonist leads us away with a chorus singing "must be the moon," just to bring us back chuckling on the ending "...shine," ...an unexpected hilarity within the context of a golden age lost-in-love piece.

From here, Humphreys slowly evolves the album through the free love decades and into modern singer-songwriter territory. "Oo La La" (I Love You) is a shimmering tale of chance encounter resulting in sparks, long walks on the beach, and lots of "I love you's" all wrapped in the haze of a 60's pop ballad aesthetic. "Low and Meddlesome Sound" is the soulful telling of a deep South blues story, beginning with heartache, ending with pain, and recounting sins for all involved. One after another Humphreys leads us through the remainder of the album's softly spoken ballads, each heavily accentuated by experience and brought to life by his smokey voice. --Carrboro Ninja

The album can be streamed and purchased at the artist's Bandcamp page: greghumphreys.bandcamp

Greg Humphreys performing at The Cashbah in Durham on September 18th 2011.
Greg Humphreys
Greg Humphreys

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