Leroy Lytel's Whisper Sugar is an eclectic album that highlights the artist’s haunting voice. This is the type of voice that audiences automatically recognize; it reminds me of the likes of the deep-voiced Gordon Lightfoot.
Lytel's style is a mix of folk story telling, classic rock, indie and just a touch of the blues. He seems to take just enough of each genre to give him something new and interesting. The lyrics of each song tell the type of stories we can each identify with. They range from the daily pursuit of happiness in an unsure world to just the small things we tend to worry about.
“Outta Your Head” was by far my favorite track of the set. The blues influence was strong and there was even a hint of a bit of a gospel twist. The song followed Lytel from his fear about life to a point of looking to faith to get through. This song is exactly what that small voice in your head that keeps the fear alive sounds like. I think most people can see themselves fighting to just get past the negative self doubt that can be crippling. “Other Side of Fear” is a continuation of the story. It is about pushing beyond your own fear to find out what living is all about.
“Last Man to Do Here Wrong” was an interesting song because it hits on an almost never-ending cycle of abuse that starts as a child. The story starts with the abuse of a father to his daughter, and this would start off a life time of bad relationships. It seems like it is an all too familiar story, except this one ends in an unexpected way. It quickly goes from just another folk piece to an almost urban legend.
“Whisper Sugar” is a haunting reminder of what happens when time gets away from us. In the fast paced world, it is easy to put off what is important. It is too easy to let things go and lose connection to the ones we live. It was almost a love song but in a very sad way. “Forever in Your Eyes” is a similar love song of sorts.
The overall themes of the album are deeply rooted in day to day life. It is about the things that we allow to derail the best parts of life. Lytel's voice is by far the best part of each song. The storytelling would be the next best feature. I look forward to more from the artist; I feel like I want to know how the story turns out.
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