Artist: Phillip Larue
Title: Let the Road Pave Itself
Label: BEC Recordings
Young veteran surrenders vulnerable solo debut …
It has been several years since we last heard from Phillip Larue. Though he has kept busy creatively writing and producing, the twenty-something singer/songwriter has remained nearly silent on the artist front. But today, whether through an act of good fate or divine fortune, Larue is resurfacing.
Having recorded three critically recognized records in the early 2000s as one half of brother/sister duo Larue, Let the Road Pave Itself records the evolution familiar fans might have suspected from the veteran. But for those unaware of his history, Larue’s solo debut is a gem worthy of discovery.
The record is musically engaging throughout with its organic pop/rock sensibilities, but the lyrical content is what sets it apart. The sensitive songster is unafraid to bare his soul track by track, and the transparent stance succeeds. Uninterested in banal rhyme schemes of lighter pop fare, Larue composes with a poetic flare that is easy enough to interpret but provocative enough to elicit deeper thought.
For instance, the album’s first single, “Chasing the Daylight,” begins with a vulnerable verse: “Some say my faith is like wings made of wax/And it won’t last,” but ends with Larue’s earthy voice chiming over a commercially accessible, radio-ready refrain: “I want to chase the daylight/Like it’s the last day of my life.”
“Home” beautifully relates the pains of letting someone go while still holding on. And on “Running So Long,” accompanied by a marvelously arranged string quartet, Larue’s tender vocal admits, “We all got stories here in this place/But we hide them well with the smiles on our face/But if you listen closely/There’s an aching in everyone’s heart.”
It would be easy to analyze each track one by one, unearthing the treasures that rest beneath the surface. But when you really break it down, Larue is the prize. Whatever plunged him underground a few years back has gracefully resurrected him; and Let the Road Pave Itself is wonderful proof.
© 2009 CMCentral.com. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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**This review first published on April 27, 2009.
Check out Phillip Larue music videos at Godtube.com.