Philip Lincoln Smith
Release date: 2005
Produced by: Philip Lincoln Smith.
Tracks: One of a Kind - The Other Side of the World - Step Inside - Wait for the Wind - Everything You Want - Nothing Wrong Here - I Dream - Pieces - Our Only World.

Post-Beatling the Beat and Reigning In The Rock.
Album Review by Jon Dunmore © Sep 2005

The timbre of Phil Smith's voice is like a shard of glass from a window you had to break with your fist to get back into your house after locking your keys inside.

Yes, that's a good thing.

Smith's voice and his songwriting skills save this production, which lacks for definitive "edge". Though the collection is made up of catchy tunes, they seem reigned in to appeal to a commercial standard (straightforward drum fills and obvious accents), rather than being allowed to flower with their own character.

"Post-Beatles" is a semantic that lets a wide spectrum of stylists off the hook; when this sobriquet is employed, one must consider that the gift The Beatles (ahem - Lennon & McCartney) gave the world was in illustrating how rock and roll need not remain stagnant, but a developing entity - therefore, that is the idiom I believe should be referred to when offhandedly citing "Post-Beatles". Consequently, PLS is not "Post-Beatles", for the reasons expressed above. Rather, it is simply "The Beatles" - early to mid-period. "Post-Beatles" would have "allowed the songs to flower".

There are jazz influences to be sure, and also what some might term AOR, and with the heavy delay and reverb in "Our Only World", his voice sure do evoke that Lennon boy's tonsils... Smith does sport a tremendous voice, with excellent pitch, control and range. The album also exudes some distant reminiscence of Todd Rundgren's "lesser-produced" albums, like "Runt" or "Hermit Of Mink Hollow".

I mention "lesser-produced", because - to Smith's credit - there is a healthy "sparseness" to the production, displayed on even the most heavily-layered tracks, allowing the music its right to breathe.

Phil Smith is a stunning vocalist and drummer, and though he wears many hats in this production, my personal tastes would have seen him wrenching a few more planks loose on those two aspects, rather than keeping it as staid as he does. Maybe that's called "self-control" - something which even Phil knows I lack…

To that end, this is not the album you would put on just before entering a barroom brawl. Rather, cruising with the top down in the city and hearing the animal sounds of the streets wash through your graying locks.


Added: 2005, Sep 6