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Even The Stars Are A Mess

Melbourne's Lawrence Greenwood Whitley - Even The Stars Are A Mess
Three years after he moved to London, retired the pseudonym of Whitley and became plain old Lawrence Greenwood, the musician behind 2007's The Submarine and 2010's Go Forth, Find Mammoth is finally back with his new offering, Even The Stars Are a Mess. The highly anticipate third album from the Melbourne-based singer-songwriter is a typically heartfelt and genuine offering of down-tempo indie rock. Each song is meticulously crafted and carefully arranged, with Greenwood's understated singing voice and talent for writing meaningful lyrics the real centrepiece of the record.

In the past few years, various tracks have been included in soundtracks ranging from local TV shows (Packed to the Rafters), Hollywood TV shows (One Tree Hill) and even videogames (Pro Evolution Soccer). Perhaps it's this newfound fame and notoriety that led to such a lengthy hiatus, and Greenwood was quoted at the time of saying that the reason for doing so was "really complex, but to sum it up: I just need to try something different, musically". Whatever the reason behind it, his sabbatical in London has proved fruitful, with his latest album being his strongest so far.

Whitley has achieved a solid balance between interesting instrumental lines and engaging lyrical and vocal efforts. Album opener The Ballad of Terrence McKenna is a dark and philosophical song, with Whitley's voice joined by a cautiously plucked guitar and a vague and ambient backing track, as he sings "In a moment it's gone / but this whole life feels so wrong." These themes of displacement and emptiness are pervasive throughout the album. The final track of the album, I Am Not a Rock, is another pensive and deeply personal track, with Whitley again exploring 'found sounds' in his use of percussion and guitar.

Although the tone of the album rarely shifts from introspective and moody, there are almost imperceptible changes in tone as Whitley explores various ideas through his lyrics, giving the album great potential for repeat listening - it's definitely a record that requires several spins to really get to terms with the writing.

Even The Stars Are A Mess

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CD - Track Listings

Released on the 5th of July 2013