In the Post #54: Fraser – A Garden At The Top Of The Tree

By on Thursday, 18th March 2010 at 12:00 pm

‘Listener friendly’ may be a cliché way of describing the homegrown songs by Fraser Gregory, folk-pop singer of London band Fraser. But it’s also one that certainly works. As a self-professed ponderer I think a lot of the themes are quite personal. The single, for example, talks about the need to be straight up in relationships, the times when you have to put your cards on the table and be upfront about things, even if it means losing the thing you love.

Gregory admits that a majority of the songs written for his band’s debut album, ‘A Garden At The Top Of The Tree’ are filled with a ‘sense of contemplation’ – be it love, life and the universal mysteries that practically any human can relate to.

Perhaps that’s one of the best qualities about this 10-track album, the fact that anyone can understand it and come to love it. Pop fans will indulge its accessibility, indie fans will adore its originality, and folk fans will enjoy its melodies.

Let’s not forgot soul either. There’s plenty of that flowing throughout the album, too. For starters, the band’s first and radio-friendly single, ‘Lay It On The Line’, explores the importance of transparency – regardless of the outcome – when it comes to relationships.

If the electro-elements blended with the catchy melodies, don’t grab at you, then the following track, ‘Laughter’, definitely will. Another standout track, it’s is the type of song that stirs a double take, simply because it’s so good. Sure, that’s a pretty elementary way of describing it, but sometimes there are not enough adjectives to give a song the justice it deserves. Think of a less cheesy James Taylor on vocals, an infectious riff, layered on top of a glorious melody. See, I warned you it would be a lame description.

And just as in life, there are plenty of highs and lows echoing throughout the album, a teeter-tooter of emotion if you will. Songs like ‘Let It Rain’ and the string-laden, Snow Patrol-esque ‘Old Tree’ offer a sincere mellowness that is somber yet likeable.

The smoothness of the album continues with the rockier and edginess of ‘Bouboulina Sunshine’, which if you’re still living in the ‘60s, you may regard it as some obscure bside from the Liverpool Fab Four. Again, the recycled theme of ‘accessible’ is what highlights this track as an album standout.

Overall, Fraser is set to release a polished album that is filled with emotion and creativity that anyone with blood flowing in their veins will understand. Get ready, this band carries the goods to conquer the world.

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