Balcony

777

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AllMusic Review by

Steven Lester (recording under the name Balcony) proves himself a talent to be reckoned with on his debut, 777. The catchy "Life on Downers," with its searing guitar lines (courtesy of multi-instrumentalist Lester) and Scary Monsters aura, best exemplifies what Balcony is all about. For the jazz-inspired "Crawl to the Top," Lester calls upon another one of his heroes, Frank Sinatra, but ultimately swims in waters Ol' Blue Eyes never charted. On "A Future Left Behind," the man behind Balcony explores the lyrical themes of Scott 3, adding funky beats to the choruses, while "Denominator" addresses the public's desire for the lowest forms of entertainment, with the words "the only way I can win is lose" voiced over a new wave racket. Even though the subject matter of 777 is often bleak, Lester's musical tone choices combined with his emotionally and technically strong vocal delivery (with just a hint of melancholy) keep the tunes from sinking into despair. The pièce de résistance of the album is its closer, "Night Terrors" (featuring the MGM Studio Orchestra), a song that so resembles Scott Walker that it has been successfully passed off as a rare Walker B-side via a popular file-sharing network.

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