Album Review

Everything That I Have Seen

Everything That I Have Seen

By Lisa Crawley

6.8 / 10
21st November 2011

By Imogen Reid

Two years on from her last EP Hello, Goodbye and Everything Inbetween and rising star Lisa Crawley has followed up with her debut full length. Every Thing I have Seen bubbles with clever folk-pop life tales, told via heartfelt lyrics and her trademark array of instrumentation. It all comes together with a little help from her equally talented friends.

Although the song themes are similar to her previous music - a young woman’s experience of love and loss - most tracks on this album are upbeat. Even the thumping piano and accompanying drums on the opening track ‘Leaving’ gives a sense that the speaker is ready to march forward after a failed relationship. ‘Blind Eyes’ is even more upbeat and has a light-heartedness that is almost child-like in its innocence, enhanced with the presence of a banjo plucked by David Ward. The airy tone is bought back down to earth when Lisa states “Everything that I have seen, I have seen with blind eyes”, this sentiment is cleary the centrepiece of the album. ‘You won’t be here’ marries her vocals to the fifties pop of Hadyn Booth’s (Panther and the Zoo, Lawrence Arabia) guitar melody, showing off her talents as a jazz singer. The catchiest song in the whole album is ‘Wish you well’; it pulls us right into the middle of the dance floor with a funky rhythmic guitar and with vocals you can’t help but sing along to.

As to be expected, there are slower and more melancholic songs on the album, the best example being ‘Close your eyes’ where Lisa’s jazzy voice sings a lullaby. The pedal steel, played by Matthew Hutching, adds a dream-like effect as it also does for ‘Birds’ which is a very open song about what it means to be alone. ‘This Time Round’ is a song of hope where the focus is on Lisa’s piano. Likewise, ‘Always’ is a very gentle, loving song with a great performance from Oliver Emitt on the trombone. The most mournful song is ‘Little He Saw’ where Lisa is joined by Hollie Fullbrooke (Tiny Ruins) on cello and vocals. Rounding things off is the captivating ‘We are Wolves’ , written by Richard Setford (Bannerman) and features a mesmerising duet between Lisa and singer-songwriter Andrew Keoghan.

There is a clear development to a more commercial sound on Every Thing I have Seen which older fans may find disappointing. Speaking as someone who was rightly impressed with the complexity and charm of ‘Stranger’ and ‘Little Big Ben’ from her 2008 EP, songs like these and the dark and mysterious tone of her previous work more generally are all but absent from the album. So whilst certainly an enjoyable listen overall with many positive qualities, some of the original appeal of her music has been lost in the development to this release.






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