Friday, July 20, 2007

Album review: Prosser - "Prosser"

PROSSER - Prosser (Clickpop)

Like a lazy walk through a good friend's summer house in the country, Prosser is relaxed, well-worn and comfortable with its surroundings. Essentially a solo project by Eric Woodruff, Prosser tiptoes around several obvious influences (alt-country, lo-fi) without fully embracing any. Woodruff has clearly listened to a few Eliott Smith songs in his day, but his work is no copycat offering.

Songs are simply produced and delivered in an self-assured style that sprinkles in just enough cello and organ to distinguish the album from every other guy-in-the-basement record ever recorded.

'It's good to be lonesome time to time/It's alright/It's alright,' Woodruff sings in "Get Gone", setting the tone for a trip through the album that returns to themes of depression and melancholy throughout. But the lyrical black clouds are offset by chiming guitars and a gently chugging rhythm. The downer lyrics of "Everything I Do" - 'All alone/Now I see/What you've done to me/What was my heart's an empty cavity' - are hidden amid a jangling guitar that practically screams happy sunny day.

Woodruff's musicianship helps the record stand out from the heap. Playing almost every instrument on the record, with some string help from Dylan Rieck, Woodruff confidently combines layers of acoustic and electric guitar to create a cohesive song cycle that starts strong and remains steady throughout. Never flashy or overpowering, Prosser finds strength in strong songs with craftsman-like construction and smart lyrics. (Rich Schneider)

Prosser - "I Met A Girl" mp3

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