Already a major star in his homeland, Australia's Alex Lloyd is a neophyte in this country, but with releases like his US debut, Watching Angels Mend, he won't remain unknown for long. The singer-songwriter pens stellar songs, sometimes accompanied by full instrumentation, like the jaunty "My Friend," which features pedal steel giant BJ Cole and sometimes stripped down solo efforts like "Easy Exit Station." His emotive vocals and easy melodies bury themselves in your brain, evoking a sonic blending of Crowded House, Elliott Smith and bits of Ocean Colour Scene, Turin Brakes and even a shake of Adam Duritz: all begging you to hit repeat. Lloyd must have many fans in the recording business, as well, as other guests include members of Pink Floyd, Portishead, and fellow Aussies Powderfinger, while the album is produced by Joseph and Ralph Fiennes' brother, Pulp and Morcheeba producer Magnus. Lloyd joins the ranks of other new school, surprisingly overlooked songwriters like Howie Day and Tom McRae: musicians who practice the ancient art of being a singer-songwriter, yet inject enthusiasm and fire heretofore unseen, injecting the recordings with vigor, life, and soul.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN