...But You Can Call Me Larry

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Just as the humbling title suggests, ...But You Can Call Me Larry is Lawrence Gowan's wholehearted attempt at capturing a mature audience through acoustically based ballads and adult contemporary-styled rock songs. Trading in the synthesizer for a piano and culling his songwriting from overambitious to downright honest, this transformation actually presents Larry Gowan with a formidable album, and is a far cry from the pop/rock-marinated Strange Animal from 1985, which launched his career. This time around, Gowan uses plain instrumentation and wholesome lyrics in songs that are basked with a down to earth simplicity. Tracks like "Soul's Road" and "When There's Time for Love" make good use of the acoustic guitar and piano, coming off as fragile love songs without sounding airy, and "Dancing on My Own Ground Again" picks up with a jangly tempo and an uplifting chorus. Although these were the tunes that made it to radio, some of his other efforts are just as worthy. The unfeigned composure of "Innocent" and "You Never Let Go" prove that Gowan has progressed in all fields of musicianship, but especially in his songwriting.

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