Review- “Sharks”- Alex Leggett

sharksreviewed by Michael Thomas

Sometimes it doesn’t take a whole lot to create an album that can stick with you. Such is the case with Alex Leggett, a singer-songwriter from Gananoque, Ont. (he’s also officially the first Gananoque-based musician reviewed on this blog).

Leggett specializes in folk-pop-flavoured tunes and his acoustic strummings are amplified by some great double bass and percussion, among other instruments that make brief cameos on some songs. Leggett also brings a lot of passion to his songs, something usually essential for a good folk tune.

The songs on the album usually fall into one of two categories- there are soft, mainly acoustic ballads, and then there are more badass, musically dense numbers. Neither really trumps the other- there’s a good balance between the two.

On the acoustic side there songs like “The Last Few Weeks” or “Life Got in the Way.” The latter is a heartfelt song with a simple theme- that life doesn’t always allow plans to go perfectly. While the premise sounds worn, the song itself is fresh. “I’m So Tired” is the album’s closer and the rare prevalence of the piano in the track really helps to sell that the song’s narrator is, indeed, really tired and in need of a break (from life? love?).

Then there the more cutting songs, such as “Losing Faith,” which sees Leggett let loose a bit and really go all out (it also features a harmonica solo which is generally always awesome). “I Think I Don’t” feature some heavy strumming of a guitar and a banjo and the result, along with Leggett’s vocals is one hell of a good song.

“Prayer of an Atheist” is a fun roots-flavoured song, forgoing the seriousness that could go along with the title and instead is very tongue-in-cheek. “Use Your Words” is a song that seems to never look back as it races forward. “Transit Driver” is a short, almost experimental track that further highlight’s Leggett’s willingness to stretch his sound.

Sharks is a nice collection of tracks that should appeal to just about anyone looking for some heartfelt and accessible folk music. It’s available from Bandcamp, and you can also pick up five b-sides from the album (a collection cleverly titled B-Side Myself) absolutely free.

Top Tracks: “I Think I Don’t”; “Life Got in the Way”; “Transit Driver”; “I’m So Tired”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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