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Friday, September 30, 2011

Gaston Light - Peel

Gaston Light – Peel
2011, Idol Records
Dallas-born and based (by way of Los Angeles) Gaston Light brings a musical melting pot on his debut album, Peel.  Born Jason Corcoran, Gaston Light blends a musical melting pot of roots rock, country, soul, blues and folk, while showing a surprising lyrically subtlety for a twenty-two year old singer/songwriter.
Peel opens in provocative fashion with “Athens, TX”, giving the account of a murder in the first person from the one who got away with it.  The song is not as disturbing as it probably should be.  “Morning Fog” has a melancholy, sing-song air that is aurally appealing, even if the vocal line is a bit flat energy-wise.  The arrangement is nicely structured, and the guitar work lends a full sound to the composition.  “Kiss The Hive” is intriguing; Gaston Light uses an angular guitar sound to create an unsettled dynamic.  It’s unclear whether this is intentional, but it almost sounds as if he’s on to something sonically.  “In A Casket” shines from the middle of the album; it’s a great tune, albeit with an unusual premise.  It’s a catchy, roots rock number with some impressive pedal steel work going on in the background, and light gives a surprising vocal turn that’s one of the highlights of the album.
Gaston Light works his way through numbers such as “Half Awake”, “Close Your Good Eye” and “Crown”, while finding small moments in the catchy fun of “Xanax Blues” and the sappy/sweet “I’ll Wait For You (Please Wait For Me)”.  Light’s voice is pleasant to listen to, but there is a passive quality to his vocal style that can be interpreted as a real lack of energy or conviction.  It may just be Light mindfully working around his own vocal limitations, but if so, it challenges him to raise the energy level in the vocal lines in order to stay connected with listeners.  Musically, Peel is above average.  Light shows a penchant for unusual sounds and construction while staying married to traditional song forms.  His ear is excellent, as you’ll hear in the instrumental mixes woven into the seams of each song on Peel.  It’s safe to say that Gaston Light shows a lot of promise, but is still figuring out where he fits musically.  Peel, however, is a solid start.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
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