As Ladders is an independent singer-songwriter from Pittsburgh, PA who recently released an album called Sketches. I want to say upfront there are some very good songs on this album. The album consists of acoustic melancholy material that could bring a tear to your eye. HIs voice is good and so is his guitar playing and that’s why it’s such a shame that the production holds back the material. The guitars are thin and frail and his vocals usually sound muddy with no definition (cutting frequencies between about 200 Hz and 400 Hz may have helped with the vocals). With that being said the songs are good enough that you can get past the production and enjoy the album.
The album starts one of the most commercially viable sounding songs on the album called “Boomerang.” It strikes a good balance between melancholy and nostalgia without sounding too sappy or contrived. His voice is strong and confident although it was hard to decipher some of the lyrics.
“Close To Me” is another solid song but introduces even more melancholy in the mix. It’s the type of song that sounds good at two o'clock in the morning to drown your sorrows. As the album progresses the sorrowful nature of the songs keeps getting better. “You Do” has a very good vocal melody and that had the singer sounding stoic while “War of the Heart” has a very similar guitar pattern and in my opinion is the best vocal performance on the album.
Overall, there is some well-written material on this album that I bet sounds great live. My advice for this artist is to do whatever he can to get a more polished sound next time around because it was the only thing holding back these songs.
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