Trevor Lissauer

Transit Plaza

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It wasn't easy for a young musician working within the conventional singer/songwriter format to come up with something fresh to express in the early 21st century. Trevor Lissauer's second album wasn't a remarkable attempt, but it was an above-average one when stacked against peers of his working in a similar area. It's considerably moodier than most other such efforts in the era, so even though on paper the words are more or less conventional romantic ambiguities, the music gives the sentiments some gravity. Though the resemblance is probably unintentional, the opening "Unnamed" sounds rather like Neil Diamond's darker early efforts, à la "Solitary Man." More often, though, Lissauer brings to mind another un-trendy (in 2003, anyway) influence, that of George Harrison. Lissauer's wispy, tremulous vocals have some similarities to Harrison's, as does his overall slightly reserved and lightly somber manner. The sound is spare, mostly tethered to a guitar/bass/drums trio, though flavored by the earnest manner in fashion in much just-left-of-mainstream rock in the early '00s. The bittersweet, acoustic-leaning "About the Sun" shares a vibe with songs like Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" in how to most appearances it's a romantic ode, yet delivered in such a tentative and ambivalent manner that it seems to be hiding a lot of doubt under the surface.

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