LP – Forever For Now [TrackList follows] – Warner Brothers 542261-1, stereo vinyl, 48:10 ****:
(LP – ukulele, vocals; Chris Chaney – bass; Oliver Charles – drums; Tim Pierce – guitar; Jamie Muhoberac – keyboards; Luis Conte – percussion; Jerry Johnson – drum tech; Mike Fasano – drum tech;p; Mike Elizondo – bass; Diane Little – cello; Yogi Lonich – guitar; Charlie Bisharat – violin; Caroline Campbell – violin; Rob Cavallo – guitar; Vanessa Freebaim-Smith – cello; Gary Novak – drums, percussion; Isabella Summers – piano, keyboards)
LP (Laura Pergolizzi) had been searching for a commercial breakthrough for nearly fifteen years. Her first hint of success came as a guest artist on “My Cinderella”, a track on Cracker’s 1998 album, Gentleman’s Blues. Her debut, Heart Shaped Scar (2001) and subsequent follow up Suburban Sprawl And Alcohol (2004) generated positive critical reviews but little commercial viability. She continued to work as a songwriter (most notably co-writing “Beautiful People” on the Burlesque soundtrack and “Cheers (Drink To That)” on Rihanna’s studio album, Loud), and performed, waiting for the inevitable career boost.
Forever For Now should provide the deserved commercial breakthrough for LP. Whatever the genre classification, meticulous, layered production (Rob Cavallo) has resulted in well-crafted pop songs that showcase LP’s vocal ferocity and songwriting skill. [And – wow – it’s on an LP!…Ed.]
Opening Side One is a synth-laden dance groove to self-discovery (“Heavenly Light”). The upper register vocals are prominent and display a tough urgency. The complexity of love is explored on her first single, “Night Like This” (including an impressive display of falsetto). Assorted vocal sound effects (including a simple vocalese opening) are interesting shading to the steady tempo that builds. Intricate arrangements are prevalent. On “One Last Mistake” there is string accompaniment and an acoustic rhythmic intro. Underneath the musical template is a personal, introspective narrative. The production is dynamic. “One Last Mistake” (great title) has an acoustic, rhythmic opening a fresh chorus break and an intriguing bridge. But it’s LP’s vocal prowess that is at the core of these songs, especially on the soaring “Your Town.”
Side Two continues the pulsating tempo. At times the strength of the album (arrangement & production) contributes to a level of predictability. Both “Free To Love” and Levitator” are accessible, groove-laden pop gems with atmospheric choruses that transition into explosive jams. “Someday” (the second single) benefits from an elaborate string arrangement, while “Savannah” exhibits some atmospheric interludes. Regardless, the quirky, prominent voice of LP is always front and center. On “Into The Wild” (which achieved success on a Citibank TV ad) there is a genuine, acoustic zeal and celestial vocal harmony. As the album draws to a close on the self-titled finale, the listener is offered a glimpse into the unique range and artistic flourish of the singer. An opening and closing ukulele and whistle hook surround an agile, moody waltz-time opus. Her operatic wistfulness transforms this track.
Forever for Now has placed LP in the spotlight and expectations for the next release will be enhanced.
[This is NOT hi-res at all, but since we’re putting all the vinyls in this section, here it is…Ed.]
Side One: Heavenly Light; Night Like This; One Last Mistake; Tokyo Sunrise; Salvation; Your Town
Side Two : Free To Love; Levitator; Someday; Savannah; Into The Wild; Forever For Now