greglaswell1

Brooklyn-by-way-of-California singer-songwriter Greg Laswell has built a respected career with lived-in relationship records. And while that might sound cringeworthy, there’s nothing cliché about the places Laswell goes to in song. While previous releases were perhaps too steeped in wallow, Take a Bow, Laswell’s third, is indeed a record of goodbye, embracing resolution over surrender. This kind of dreamy effortlessness is not the product of a broken man, but a learned man. With a voice that rises and falls in an appealingly resonant lower register, Laswell is a gifted artist in the vein of Brendan Benson, and his penchant for assured production, intricate melodies and great mixtape material. Just try to resist the epic shimmer of “Take Everything,” “Off I Go” and “Come Clean,” or the swoon-worthy “Lie to Me,” which finds Laswell intoning, “Go ahead and lie to me. I’ll believe in anything you say tonight… I don’t mind playing the fool.” Gorgeous. Fans of Benson, Jason Mraz, Joshua Radin and Cary Brothers will rejoice. (Vanguard Records) –Carrie Alison