Thursday, May 22, 2014

REVIEW: La Sera - Hour of the Dawn

Of course I don't know Katy Goodman, so I can only offer my impressions based on her music.  But her new album Hour of the Dawn seems to me to mark the time in her career as La Sera that it is evident that Goodman is having a blast as a rock musician.  That isn't to suggest that Goodman wasn't having fun before, or that her prior work was morose.   It's just that the enthusiasm, energy and unbridled joy jump out of the speakers with this album  The result is the best album of her solo career and I highly recommend it.

As compared to the prior La Sera albums, Hour of the Dawn is born of California power pop sensibilities with a good dose of punk attitude.  The songwriting is bold and packed with ideas.  You'll hear influences from the '60s to current times, but is is all bound together with spirit and clever hooks.  While La Sera's confident vocals sell the songs, Tod Wisenbaker's guitar adds swagger, muscle and a bit of glam to the proceedings.  As compared to prior La Sera work, there is less reliance on reverb and retro garage haze and more willingness, in fact, insistence, on guitar hero flourishes and clarity of sound.  And perhaps that element added to Goodman's more confident songwriting is the most tangible evidence that this record is the birth of the new La Sera. Although the fast-paced tunes carry the album for me, the ballads are well-constructed and affecting.

Hour of the Dawn is out now via Hardly Art.

Hardly Art Records

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