Grand Design


The older I get, the more respect I have for people who can not only come up with a fabulous backing track, but also introduce a melody. A melody that soars above that track yet feeds into it perfectly.

So here’s the thing. Layton is a quartet consisting of siblings Paul and Lara Layton, who write and sing the songs, with Michael Zirbes on drums and samples and Jason Vivrette on keyboards. The band has put together one or two great tracks here.

But the melodies are so prosaic and the vocals so undemonstrative that I find myself not really giving a damn one way or another. Nobody’s asking either of the Laytons to suddenly turn into Debbie Harry or even Annie Lennox, but a touch more histrionics in the vocals might have added some much-needed life. It’s too clean, it’s too pristine and it’s too perfect.


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