You are watching: Everyone thinks i dodged a bullet but i think i shot the gun

Greg Laswell - anyone Thinks ns Dodged a bullet (Vanguard Records)

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Ever because his debut LP, good Movie, come in 2003, Californian Greg Laswell has continuously proven come be one of the best singer/songwriters of his generation. While his stint together the frontman of san Diego troupe Shillglen certainly showed promise (however short-lived), the his succession of solo initiatives that clues him together a characteristic, consistent, and central voice within the scene. Always eloquent and also refined yet complete of impassioned sentiments and also witty prose, his work has actually a timeless and also universal top quality that’s nearly impossible to disregard. Fortunately, his newest studio collection, anyone Thinks ns Dodged a Bullet, stays true to that legacy. While the not quite as varied or enticing together its immediate predecessor, Landline (2012)*, it come immensely close, result in one more remarkable sequence that any type of fan that heartfelt and infectious folk/indie rock have to adore.

Appropriately billed as “his most personal release . . . A soul-bearing suffer that is cathartic, atmospheric, and haunting, and also at times, networks Leonard Cohen, Elbow and Sigur Rós,” anyone Thinks i Dodged a bullet was written, performed, and also produced completely by Laswell (well, next from contributions from cellist Colette Alexander and also the mastering that Grammy-winner Evren Göknar). In plenty of ways, its relatively somber and an easy arrangements match its embittered tales of heartbreak and also defiance perfectly, yielding a an effective listening experience whose beauty and longevity stem from its relatable fragility and antagonism.

The record opens with its title track, a moody waltz consisted of of woeful etc arpeggios, shuffling percussion, and recurring electric piano patterns. Naturally, Laswell sings v his trademark hope baritone, uttering lines favor “I’m no gonna phone call my brand-new friends about you / No, I’m gonna let the slide / I’m gonna be lazy once I write around you / also though that takes all my might” through defiant however tormented conviction. The chorus is fairly catchy, too, through an intriguing metaphor (“And anyone thinks ns dodged a cartridge / yet I think i shot the gun”) speaking volumes around the speaker’s headspace. That another great example of how Laswell transforms the conventions of a break-up song on its head; rather than mourn the loss v weakness, his narrator owns the case with power and also acceptance.

Actually, this snarky classiness permeates numerous others songs, consisting of the symphonically synthy “A life time Ago,” who directness and tender bellowing brings the emotion to the forefront. While every one of the lyrics carry out a fine job of mocking the pretentiousness that his ex-lover, the last sentiment is perhaps the many biting: “What are you gonna perform / when gravity it s okay to you?” there’s a comparable vibe and sense that virtue in “Out the Line,” if “Watch you Burn” is an electrifying centerpiece bursting with restrained drumming, ghostly ambiance, ominous strings, and also perhaps most surprisingly (but effectively), auto-tune ~ above Laswell’s voice (which provides his character sound even more broken). There’s a brilliance come the incongruity between its melodies and words, as Laswell assurances lines like “I’ll start the range / and get the residence warm/ for you come land in / and also watch friend burn” as if they’re endearing guarantees to take treatment of his soul mate.

“Not the very same Man” goes because that a more traditional singer/songwriter route, through anguished orchestration and piano accompaniment doing wonders for the silkily saddened foundation. Honestly, it’s one of Laswell’s many heavenly however tragic piece ever. In contrast, “Birthday Wish” and “Take the Easy” space grittier and an ext in-your-face, when “Play that One Again” permeates v the kind of bittersweet nostalgia and well wishes (however feigned) that unavoidable follow every separation. That is poignancy mirrors the of Pearl Jam’s “Black” or the film Eternal Sunshine that the Spotless Mind, i beg your pardon is important saying something.

Desolate cellos introduce album closure “Not Surprised.” quickly after, they’re joined by much more scuffling percussion, recurring piano note (which are rather hypnotic), and more crushing singing and lyricism. The simplicity of phrases prefer “I’m not surprised, you understand / I never really said, ‘goodbye,’” matched with how Laswell hums alongside the swirling strings, is devastating. Due to the fact that of this, “Not Surprised” is a troubling yet gorgeous method to end.

There’s naught on anyone Thinks ns Dodged a Bullet that matches the energy or catchiness of, say, “My fight (For You)” (from take it a Bow) or “Another Life to Lose” (from Landline), however that’s since it doesn’t have actually the very same purposes. This is a record around somberness and also subtlety, not invigoration and intricacy. It’s an album to gain lost in, to spark introspection and closure. In that way, it’s an exceptional journey the proves once again why Greg Laswell is together a masterful, distinctive, and vital artist.

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*Of course, i Was walking to it is in an Astronaut come out in 2014, however it included reimagined take away on older tracks, no wholly brand-new material.