Wayne Everett

Kingsqueens+1

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AllMusic Review by

Wayne Everett is the voice of the mighty shoegaze revivalists the Lassie Foundation. His soaring falsetto is the frosting on top of the cherry on top of the sticky sweet ice cream that is the Lassie sound. On his solo debut record, Kingsqueens+1, Everett mostly strips away the walls of EFX'd guitars and the moody gazer sound and aims for something more sweetly melodic and mostly unadorned by sonic trickery. His voice is out front instead of riding the guitars, his songwriting is very direct; the record has an immediacy that the Lassie Foundation's records often lack. He hasn't forsaken an interesting sound, however, most every song has sonic touches that keep things lively like the gospel backing vocals on "Mor Far," the tubular bells on "Chalk," the sweetly burbling organ on "Changing Your Name." The guitar work is stellar throughout, every line is just what is needed for the song and the layers of sound support Everett like a silk hammock. The hooks and melodies are strong enough that they could be played on combs and Jews Harps and it wouldn't matter. All you really need is Everett's choir boy vocals anyway. He is so pristine, so perfect a singer it seems that he can do no wrong. "A Million Leaves" should be on mixtapes from now until the end of music. It is a perfect song. The rest of the album isn't too far behind. It is the best shoegaze-ish guitar pop record in memory. Heck, it is just a great pop record. No categories necessary. [The CD carries a bonus track: a jokey song called "Babalou" that is a mash-up of bubblegum, shoegaze and AOR. A classic throwaway that leaves you smiling even wider.]

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