Lee Henderson - prognaut.com
Belgian born singer and songwriter Pierre Léonard is pretty much Peter & The Lions with several guest musicians to back him up (especially in his live concerts). The double CD set is a mix of quaint, jolly, medium tempo, quirky and/or short eccentric pop songs that recall music like Andy Partridge (XTC), Trash Can Sinatras, The Guess Who, The Beatles, Steve Miller (early period), Paul McCartney, and 10CC, among others. I have to admire anyone who writes 28 songs for one release. All songs are written and arranged by Leonard and the writing skill here is insanely good for these type songs.
First song from CD1 sounds very much like XTC and that starts things off really nice. First song from CD2 has an acoustic intro and very much in The Beatles world. God is this Paul? (well not exactly his voice but the composition could be a dead ringer for The Beatles). So you have a good overview here, but so many influences wander in and out of these two discs that you really get nostalgic. In fact most of these songs could be on the Top 40 radio if it were 1970's. So that is not a bad thing if you like good earnest pop from the great days of bliss. You also get some 60's sunshine pop. Man this guy can do it so well. And some of the songs are pure gold! His song 'North' just males me smile. Beautiful!! Just when you didn't think anyone could write any more of those gems that you can't get out of your mind once heard. And a blast from the past is no problem whatsoever for this writer. I haven't listened to modern commercial radio in over 2 decades. But if this was on, I'd hit that ON button.
Instruments are plentiful with occasional horns, Rhodes, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, drums, bass, and some sweet orchestrations, along with classic reverb drenched effects at times, and the other touches that make for a soothing listening experience. All 28 songs. Sure, there are some so so tunes but not so many. And those aren't bad, just less than striking. All in all, this is an easy listening pop release with odd touches, character galore, carefully crafted songs, clear lyrics, and a 60's/70's production and composition style that will have you wanting to go back in time where life was better.
Although this would not actually be progressive by today's standards, it is a well crafted sometimes eccentric, sometimes brooding, often retro, and always nice. It feels like these tunes have been locked away in a treasure chest from those special days. I think track 5 from CD2 says it best ('A Child Forever'). I love many genres of music, and my love for the avant garde and crazy stuff, has to be tendered by the beautiful pop stuff like this. It's how I have balanced my taste since I first began listening to music 40 something years ago. This is certainly a fine collection of classic pop with hooks in spades and one Pierre Leonard should be proud of. Peter & The Lions 'Postcards From Home' deserves two thumbs up, 5 stars, and a Recommendation from me! And that they get!!
released May 4, 2012
Pierre Léonard: all instruments & voices except :
Erno: piano on Heredity
Bruno Herzet: sax on Summer's coming
Michel Marissiaux: fretless bass on Friends
Sebastien Semal: trombone on Summer's coming & Under the sea
Caroline Stevens: cellos on Heredity
Daniel Willem: violins on The man who called himself Vengeance
Recorded & mixed by Pierre Léonard
Mastered by Michel Van Achter
Photos: William Beine
Illustrations: Lydle Thonet
Graphism: Michel Van Achter
Published by homerecords.be
Produced by homerecords.be