CD REVIEW: Slim Loris - Down to Earth
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"impressive collection of music"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Weakness: Cover Art, CD Title
Stockholm, Sweden based “Slim Loris” just released their debut CD entitled Down to Earth in 2011. The band consists of 2 core members: Robert Barrefelt (Guitar) and Matthias Cederstam (Bass, Guitar, Piano, and Organ). Other members include Jonas Ellenberg (Drums and Percussion), Leon Lindstrom (Backing Vocals) and Adrian Jones (String). Reading from their bio: Slim Loris that mixes sixties pop/rock with a bit of Americana and a pinch of Sweden.
The CD kicks gets off the ground nicely with “Low” a smooth flowing intro piece that serves up slamming psychedelic rock groove against driving rock rhythm, effective harmonies and soulful melody from Barrefelt. Track 2 “Waiting for Something” keeps thing moving in the right direction with heartfelt vocal delivery from Barrefelt with steady flowing rhythm against impressive piano and guitar ambience making for an impressive follow-up ballad. Track 3 “Into the Stillness” is an impressive Celtic ditty that dishes out impressive fiddles, well placed vocal harmonies against thought provoking lyrical content against a grand slam chorus. The musicianship of everyone involved is above the bar. I would classify this music as Modern-day Folk-Rock-Pop with psychedelic elements of the music popular in the 60’d and 70’s. Music is reminiscent of classic America, Bob Dylan, The Counting Crows, The Rembrandts and even Train. Besides the 4 piece standard along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive solo guitar, well placed Hammond Organ, Fiddles, Percussion, String movements, and lush harmonies layered everywhere. Now turning our attention over to singer Barrefelt - as for his vocal abilities well – he’s spot on! His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with a timber that is simply infectious. I might add he takes some impressive vocal risks indicating to me a confident vocal ability. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board. This CD from “Slim Loris” delivers 12 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong musical variety and diversity. The music has everything you would expect from a world class musical production. From rocking “Useless” to heartfelt “Ain’t Nothing Like it Used to Be” to gripping “At the end of our Tears” compelling ”Did I ever” to melodic “Break even or Loose” and passionate “Light Come Shining” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 12 “She Won’t Believe” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this CD, however I’m not a fan of the cover art. Overall it’s a grainy photograph that comes across as looking a bit amateurish and fails to make any sort of meaningful connection to me. The title of the album Down to Earth also misses the mark as I see no obvious correlation between the music the title. I guess just don’t get the marketability angles of any of the aforementioned items. I might add all of the above are extremely critical opportunities for the artist to make an emotional connection with a potential listener - falling short and in need of upgrade.
From start to finish Down to Earth by Slim Loris is an impressive collection of music from these Swedish lads. The songwriting – world class, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalog. The writing and playing abilities of this band are rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with good old fashioned folk-rock swagger. Get a piece of it while you can!