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Lewis - L'Amour [Light In the Attic - 2014]

Crate digging and record collecting have been going on long before the internet became everyone's favorite everything. It did, though, change the way collectors could share their finds with the rest of the community. Blogs, bulletin boards, and other websites allow collectors to spread the joy they get from finding underheard classics or, in the case of Lewis' L'Amour, albums that weren't meant for a mass market. These rare, small batch, private press records are much sought after, and the more obscure, the better. Since no one you know has ever heard them or talked about them, these records have a more personal feel to them, like they were made expressly for you. This is especially true with Light In the Attic's latest re-release, Lewis - L'Amour.

Soft pianos and even softer vocals make up the core of Lewis' only extant album. Seeing his beach volleyball player visage on the album cover while he slowly and softly croons heartfelt love songs helps to draw the listener further into Lewis' mystique. Soft, semi-heartbreaking songs like "I Thought the World of You" and "Romance for Two" make great bookends for the aural pages in between. Capped on one end by pianos and the other by guitars, one gets a nice overview (and underview?) of the album. In addition to the simple, expected elements, there's also a synthesizer slowly singing in the background. This is L'Amour in a nutshell. It's soft and mysterious, but feels very honest...despite the performer's rumored con artist life. There are jauntier numbers on L'Amour, too. "Cool Night in Paris" plays like the Country Time ads, and would make for fun porch sitting Summer music. "Let's Fall in Love Tonight" moves a bit slower than "Paris," but the heavier keys hearken to an older, drunk couple getting off their barstools and dancing without a care while the rest of the crowd stares into their drinks.

These private press finds are very fun, and Light In the Attic gives them the audience and attention they never thought they'd receive. At times, the synth and vocal on L'Amour reminds me of another LITA band, Donnie & Joe Emerson. It's great and completely unexpected to stumble upon releases like this, and we have to thank the blog community and Light In the Attic for bringing them to our attention. This album may have its blemishes, but its soft, personal sentiment shouldn't be missed.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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