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Stanley, James Lee: The Apocaloptimist

James Lee Stanley is a singer/songwriter who has been around for decades and has amassed quite a large discography culminating with his latest album The Apocaloptimist. Before you set your sights on this album know one thing, this is folk inspired pop/soft rock and is far removed from the progressive genre. That is not to say this is a bad album because it clearly isn't. As a matter a fact, for a folk album it is pretty darn good.

Stanley proves to be adept on the acoustic guitar as all these tracks are acoustically driven with nicely flowing rhythms and solid picking. He also has a warm sounding voice with an understated delivery that is ideally suited to project his thought provoking lyrics.

Songs like "Living The Party Life" and "Highway 23" are a nice blend of folk and pop while the mid tempo rock of "Gypsies In The Hallway" features impressive slide work from Little Feat's Paul Barrere. Many of the tunes have a gentle, relaxing feel like the incredibly poignant folk ballad "Here We Have My Father" and the breezily wistful "Last Call". Paul Simon came to mind on a couple of tracks, most notably on the catchy acoustics of "When You Get Right Down To It" and the mellow acoustic ballad "Any Other Way" with its folky '70s flair.

The only cover is a complete reimagining of The Beatles' "Drive My Car" featuring excellent harmonica from Corky Siegel.

While The Apocaloptimist didn't knock my socks off, it is enjoyable for what it is; a melodic batch of singer/songwriter based tunes that are as relaxing as they are poignant, which may be good or bad, depending on your point of view.

Track Listing:
1. Living The Party Life
2. Gypsies In The Hallway
3. Last Call
4. Drive My Car
5. Here We Have My Father
6. Highway 23
7. Etude In E Minor
8. When You Get Right Down To It
9. Last All Night
10. Ant Other Way
11. Twinkle In Your Eye
12. Lullabye For Chloe

Added: November 19th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 2158
Language: english

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