Image © DHW Records 2005
Lynn Davison (lead vocals)
Image © DHW Records 2005
(12 March 2006) Having been playing music together for some time in one form or another, Lynn Davison and Cole Coleman realised that there was a unique chemistry between them, and so decided to form a duo, built around Lynn's warm, rich vocal and keyboard arrangements and Cole's guitar playing. In particular, the duo's music showcases the Laud, an instrument looking not unlike a lute, with a sound somewhere between a mandolin and a 12-string acoustic guitar. All this gives their debut album Forward Motion (DHW Records (USA), 050501, 2005) a unique character. Though the instrumentation is largely acoustic, the arrangements sound beautifully lush with the addition of Lynn and Cole's keyboards and strings, not to mention some tasteful backing vocals. The overall feeling is beautifully warm and intimate with vocals high in the mix, and Cole's guitar and laud also prominent.
"You and I and All the World" kicks the album off in typical, uplifting fashion. The lyrics throughout give a largely positive, "quantum" world-view, and this song lays down this attitude like a mission statement. Lynn also demonstrates her remarkable vocal range, with a vocal performance ranging from a low purr to a high soprano. "Castles in the Sand" continues with some impressive lyrical twists and turns and an attention grabbing orchestral arrangement on the chorus. "C'est la Vie" continues with some interesting use of programmed drums. Cole's laud at its finest and the song's chorus is one of the finest on the album. Cole takes over on lead vocals for a charming cover of Cat Stevens' "Moonshadow," with Lynn's backing vocals sung an octave above Cole's lead, adding to the arrangement's charm. "Heal," meanwhile, is an album highlight, sounds of the sea introducing a spacey, spine tingling song with a beautiful keyboard-based arrangement.
A lovely Laud passage introduces "One More Day," with Cole sharing lead vocal duties with Lynn, and their vocals combine beautifully on yet another uplifting chorus. "Cryin'" is a quirkier, folkier song with a lovely vocal arrangement and poignant lyrics about the sadness of a relationship break up. The title track is up next, examining the same subject as the song before, but giving it a much more positive slant via an emotional vocal from Lynn, while the arrangement combines acoustic guitar and strings beautifully. "Our way Back Home" introduces a Zeppelin-esque acoustic character with massed guitars prominent, and a lovely chorus, while the simpler "Sanctuary" features some lovely guitar and a superb
vocal arrangement "Our Leaning" is the perfect album closer, a delightful sing-song chorus illustrating a bittersweet, but largely positive lyric.
The album is available in the USA from amazon.com and in the UK and EU from SonicBond. Those that enjoy acoustic music without unnecessary folksiness, not to mention song writing of the highest quality will enjoy this album immensely. The songs have a likeable, bittersweet quality to them that leaves the listener moved, relaxed and uplifted all at the same time. Forward
Motion is an album of beauty and warmth, by a duo that deserves a huge following, and might just get it.--Stephen Lambe in Cheltenham, England and Russ Elliot in New York