Multi-instrumentalist Patrick Krief, guitarist for The Dears, has been on a creative streak lately. Not only did he have enough songs to make music for one other band, Lesley Lane, but he had overflow to work on a solo project as well. Music is nothing new to Krief, who began playing guitar when he was three and gigging by the time he was thirteen. His debut solo effort is a heartwarming EP that blends Americana, folk and old school British rock-n-roll. In addition to vocal duties on Take It Or Leave, Krief also wrote and produced the album, as well as played all guitars, piano, keyboards, drums, bass and percussion.
Looking at his past as a reference, if what you are expecting is something cerebral like The Dears then think again. Instead Krief went the personal route. The seven little gems on this release are introspective, deep and are best listened to on headphones in the comfort of your living room. The EP starts off with the aching "We're All Whores," a song that is reminiscent of John Lennon, The Beatles and Richard Hawley stylistically. The Lennon comparisons don't stop there. On "Broken Mirrors," Krief's lyrical delivery and production sounds like something the ex-Beatle or Jason Falkner would have done. It's obvious by this point in the release that Krief's music is a warm welcome to my ears, especially when everything out there seems to sound unoriginally like the next big thing. The acoustic "Worries Are Over" showcases just how talented Krief is as a vocalist, hitting Buckley-esque falsetto highs. Really every track on this album is unique and special, there is no filler from the brooding "La Vérité" to the upbeat "What We Wanted" and "In This World."
Finally, this must be noted. There has to be something said about a humble man. Not only did he lose all his gear in the last month, but also instead of taking advantage of it, he insists that people donate to a worthy charity over giving him money. His main cause, Parkinson's disease research, gets a portion of each EP he sells. If that's not reason enough for you to check out this amazing release then I don't know what is. When it comes to Krief and Take It Or Leave, I suggest taking and not leaving.