Strip Me Bare –  Joel Leffler (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

barestrweq_phixrWe have got so used to fashionably attired guys wielding a guitar and sporting just the right beard, looking the part but, sadly, not delivering. Either they undersell you some sort of cliched indie-pop that appears to have come off a musical production line to cause a brief blip on the commercial radar before falling into the creative landfill site of history or they deliver a mumbled, angst ridden slab of melancholic college poeticism. Well, not so Joel Leffler, he both looks the part and delivers the goods.

Strip Me Bare is a collection of upbeat, funk infused, dance driven pop. It is groovesome, effortlessly cool, well honed and brilliantly delivered. Although it might walk the same territory as the likes of Ed Sheeran, Leffler seems somehow less contrived, as if the music seems to just ooze from him rather than have to be fashioned, and as such puts him more in the realms of Bruno Mars. On occasion you even catch a sidewise glance to the likes of Prince.

Speed of Light is a timeless, soul packed, pop punch, April’s Fool is an understated ear worm and Auburn Hair builds dance grooves on reggae rhythms. It’s a great sonic suite of sass and sentiment, soufulness and sultry moves…you can’t ask for much more.

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