The press notes that accompany the record say “…you’d be forgiven for dismissing 24-year-old Luke Leighfield as just another singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar.”
That’s a relief. So I turned the record on with somewhat lowered expectations, and braced myself to be bored – and after hearing track 1, ‘Slow Down,’ I was. A simple piano melody, akin to a Ben Folds track, starts us off with Leighfield’s clearly heartfelt, but uninspired lyrics, like, “You’re caught up in the stress, you’re caught up in the strain, but this too will pass,” which, after a while, is joined by slow burning, hard hitting drums, like a Mercury Rev alt-rock power ballad, which then all meld into a cacophony of chorus voices, synths, and power chords, as Leighfield wails “Slow down.” It is a song so reminiscent of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’, ‘The Scientist’, and really the majority of Coldplay tracks that follow quiet, quiet, loud, louder, end in a flurry structure that I’m surprised Chris Martin isn’t suing for copyright infringement.
And so it goes. Think Coldplay, but without the power of Martin’s voice. Leighfield does however mix things up. The title track invokes an 80s Bon Jovi-style guitar whining intro, which then reverts to power chords, and a similar rolling piano and drum beat to Marc Cohn’s ‘Walking in Memphis’.
And there lies the problem. I feel like a hundred artists have done this before. Maybe they have done it better, but that really depends on how you feel about Coldplay.