Tony Lunn

Last Days of Diresville

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If you live in a vertical, pedestrian-oriented city like New York, London, Chicago (Tony Lunn's home town), or Boston, it's very easy to come across singer/songwriters. They're performing in subway stations; they're playing in an abundance of small cafes, coffeehouses, bars, and restaurants that you can easily drop by walking home from work. Los Angeles also has a long history of worthwhile singer/songwriters, but because of the city's horizontal, spread-out geography and its emphasis on the automobile, you don't feel like singer/songwriters are jumping out at you as often. You have to know where to find them -- and The Last Days of Diresville demonstrates that Lunn is among the L.A.-based singer/songwriters who is worth finding. The Midwest native turned Southern California resident isn't groundbreaking or innovative, but he's an expressive vocalist and a talented lyricist with an appealing roots rock/adult alternative/folk-rock outlook. Many of Lunn's influences are people who emerged in the '60s and '70s -- Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Stephen Stills, and the Beatles, among others -- and those influences serve him well on melodic, reflective offerings like "Welcome to the Past," "Burden," "Change," and the moody title track. In addition to writing most of the material, Lunn co-produced this 46-minute CD with engineer John X; together, they make The Last Days of Diresville sound well produced but not over-produced -- which is a good thing because when you're a singer/songwriter like Lunn, you need a production that doesn't get in the way of your vocals or your lyrics. Going for a big, elaborate, high-gloss production can be fine if you're providing rap or dance music, but Lunn is the sort of artist who is better served by intimacy -- and that is exactly what he provides on this likable, if derivative, debut.

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