Diamonds in the Rough

Diamonds in the Rough

Diamonds in the Rough

Diamonds in the Rough

Gravitation

Diamonds in the Rough is Ian Person –guitarist for one of Sweden’s inexplicably quasi-popular-in-the-States garage rock acts of the early ’00s, The Soundtrack of Our Lives. On his debut solo album, Person retains much of the ’60s riffing and uncharacteristic pastoralisms of his full-time band, but also opts for more songwriting with major chords and anthemic melodies. The title track alone, with it’s insistent beat of a tambourine and call-and-response vocals are instantly toe-tapping. The stuttering and ringing chord changes he uses at the fade out are just brilliant.

The standout lyric track is “Miss Elusive,” a shuffling lament to a missing love where Person’s spare key-changing chorus of “you’re nowhere to be found” actually evokes Bob Dylan. More often than not, Person runs into some trouble with his words. Going for a too-simplistic rhyme scheme, easily complimentary words and bland romantic platitudes like “Let’s run/ We could make it if we try/ Let’s run/ You know we can’t let these feelings die,” from “Heavy Weather.” While they aren’t completely detrimental to this disc’s enjoyment factor, they’re still a little too Big Dumb Pop to work well with the music. Thankfully, about half of the material on here is instrumental, spans many genres –like the melancholy pitter-pat of “Into the Void” that follows up the flamenco-tinged “The Delivery”– and is a much more appropriate and enjoyable soundtrack to my life than Person’s more famous outfit will likely ever be.

Gravitation Records: www.gravitation.nu

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