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CD REVIEW: Keyth Lawrence and the Purple Circle - 'Figures' (5-song sampler)
By Steve Allat - 12/16/2003 - 07:37 PM EST

Artist: Keyth Lawrence and the Purple Circle
Album: 'Figures' (5-song sampler)
CD Review: Label: I Said! Records - Independent
Tracks: 5 (full release will have 12)
Released: 2003/4
For Fans Of:: Coldplay, David Gray, Crash Test Dummies
Fav Tracks: Leaving, Mission

Now here is a very distinct new voice. Keyth Lawrence, who says he's 28 (which you cannot tell from the voice alone) has been playing his piano for 21 years, and it's apparent that he's had a very inimate and interesting relationship with it.

Formulating pop/rock songs unlike any I've ever heard before, Keyth and his band, the Purple Circle will challenge your theories on song structure and style, and leave you wanting to listen again, if only to figure out exactly what they did the first time. Without the aid of many obvious hooks, Keyth's songs have more of an overall feel to them as complete works, rather than the typical verse & chorus dialogue which mainstream pop songs enjoy. I have to admit that I like either on any given day, and was happy with the aural challenge this time.

While these 5 songs are certainly very interesting, only the first 2 caught my attention the way a commercial pop song would. These showcased Keyth's songwriting, structure and unique layering of vocals and instrumentation as opposed to the other songs where this was less distinguishable, and left me wanting for a bit more to sink my teeth into. Stop teasing me Keyth. I know you're packin'! Just a hook or two for me to wrap your unique voice around inside my head.

Lyrically, Keyth is once again very challenging and is obviously a fan of some of our cryptic favourites like Tori Amos and Bowie. I don't expect he'll ever tell us straight up what he's thinking, but the imagery and metaphors do the job quite nicely.

I really enjoyed listening to every song though, and quickly garnered a deep respect for Keyth's sense of self - musically, vocally and stylistically. Besides the generalities I've used to try to describe the sound, all I can do to recommend this music is to say the next step is up to you. Check him out and listen for yourself.

Besides his songs, his delivery and his presentation are top notch. Keyth is obviously someone who sees the road ahead . . . paved in royal purple.

I look forward to hearing all 12 songs sometime soon.

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