Monday, 5 December 2011
Review: Leonard Emery
Leonard Emery - Always Remember To Kiss Me Goodnight (Independent)
“Always Remember To Kiss Me Goodnight” is Leonard Emery’s fifth album and once past its flowery façade, it offers a generous selection of musical treats. I’ve read others comparing Emery to Randy Newman, and while there are certainly some similarities with the Californian singer-songwriter (they’re also both pianists), when Emory sings, I’m personally reminded more of Leon Russell. Which is no bad thing at all.
Born in Laconia, NH, Emory’s musical education and early career took him to Vienna to study piano, college in Boston, the Navy Music School, session work in LA and five years of special effect work on movies, including Cheech and Chong’s “Up In Smoke” and “The Muppet Movie”. Now back in New Hampshire and concentrating on his solo career, Emery’s songs sound like they’ve lived a life and have got some stories to tell. First track “Don't Push the (Mad) River” is an absolute doozie. With it’s funk guitar, assorted brass and Dr. John / New Orleans inspired rhythm; it couldn’t be more Southern if it was served up with a side order of fried chicken. “The Boy” just about justifies those Randy Newman comparisons, but Emory’s whole approach feels looser and he’s less concerned about scoring lyrical points. “1963” is cut from the same cloth. Together with the fore mentioned “Don't Push the (Mad) River”, “One Life Ain't Long Enough” is a new firm favourite. It releases his inner Kris Kristofferson (we’ve all got one) with an upbeat country rock shuffle and some universal sentiments.