i'm not a critic but i play one on the net
I finally got some time (having your own office is good for these things) to listen to Ken Layne's CD. I suck at writing the clinical sort of review you see in magazines. I'll stick to a blog-like review.
Ken Layneís The Analog Bootlegs is at once familiar. You swear youíve heard these songs before, maybe in a dark bar back in those heady days after high school when you swore you were going to give up college and become a traveling bohemian musician. Itís the vibe thatís familiar, the strains of a sincere voice beckoning you into that barroom, making you drink watery tap beer and maybe developing a crush on the guy sitting on the stool, playing his guitar and singing right at you.
Listening to a song like Worried, you get a Rolling Stones feel and Monkey Cup makes you think of Nick Cave while Like A Train is definitely Lennon, yet Layne layers those sound with something - letís call it an aura - that lifts the sounds up from the speakers and gives them some unique color that is nothing like any of the artists the song first evoked.
The final song, National Day of Mourning is one of those tunes I can imagine listening to late at night, headphones on, in total darkness, coming off a red wine drunk. In fact, I could listen to the entire Analog Bootlegs that way which, from me, is high praise. I save those moments only for songs that pull at that small space inside my gut and make me long for things Iíve forgotten about. Like smoky barrooms and tap beer and sincere guys with guitars.