Love At Low Speed

Abram Shook

Western Vinyl Records, 2017

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Like a lot of independent artists, Austin-based musician Abram Shook doesn't exactly sit around sipping expensive wine and eating caviar while counting his stacks of money. Even though Shook had enough material and wrote two entirely different themed albums, he could only economically record one. He chose the more personal of the two, exploring themes he previously thought to be trite: namely, love and loss. Considering that a relationship that spanned over a decade had just ended for Shook, it only seemed fitting.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

From the moment “The Hours” starts, Shook's formula is addictive, as his lo-fi approach and emotive, often soulful singing about searching for closure and wandering aimlessly punctuate his loss. “Eventually” is an even lighter pop song, while “Lies” is a synth tune with a quirky '80s feel that could have been a shelved Prince track. Elsewhere, “Divinity” is a soft psych-rocker with a retro feel, while “Red Lines” starts with a Bright Eyes influence and moves into a sunnier atmosphere with an orchestral backdrop.

While listening to the album, it becomes quite clear that Shook has spent considerable time in California, as his beach-soaked pop influences are always at the surface. However, songs like “No Return” illustrate an affinity for bossa nova, and “Device” comes off as blurry version of a '70s folk song.

The album ends on one of the best tunes, the stripped-back and aptly titled “Quiet Side,” which find Shook accompanied by an acoustic guitar and soft horns to produce warm, intimate story telling.

This album is so well done, so easy to become smitten with, that one can only wonder what the album Shook is sitting on, titled Love In The Age Of Excess, is capable of. We can only hope that one day it will also grace our ears.

Rating: A-

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© 2017 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Western Vinyl Records, and is used for informational purposes only.