Exposé Online banner

Garrett Sawyer — Chronicles and Vanity
((Not on label) , 2012, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-11-18

Chronicles and Vanity Cover artGarrett Sawyer is a singer songwriter from Southern California and Chronicles and Vanity is his third release. The cover art is of a nice looking middle-aged guy relaxing in a park, strumming a guitar. Just like you cannot judge a book by its cover, this photo does not prepare you for the music. You will not hear troubadour or folk music, instead Garrett has a gritty voice that hints a bit at Bruce Springsteen and all of the 12 songs on this disc are folk-rock numbers. Garrett has a poetic bent to his lyrics that you cannot appreciate by merely listening to the music. You have to invest some time reading them to understand what each song is about. Topics are pretty odd: yearning for space flight, a vet returning from the war in Iraq, drudgery of a dead end job, getting laid off and having your home foreclosed, a mentally damaged woman, etc. Not exactly upbeat material! The downside to the music is that after the first couple of songs, everything starts to sound the same. The sound is muddy, Garrett’s vocals show a lack of emotion and range, there is a lack of variety between songs and styles, and the songs tend to follow the same format of a slightly moving up then down phrasing of each line in a verse interspersed with a chorus having a few more notes. He likes to think of himself as a lyricist somewhere between Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen, sounding a bit like Ian Anderson singing folk-rock. I don’t get it. He is a good lyricist, but some are so poetic/obscure that I find it difficult understanding the subject matter like on the song “Neil Sends Regrets.” Obviously the song is about someone named Neil, but for the life of me, I don’t know what he is regretting nor to whom he is sending his regrets. Taken as a whole, the listener will rapidly become bored with the songs. This CD is best savored by listening to one song at a time with plenty of other music in between. If you want to sample his music, you can download a free copy of his song “One Falcon Down” from his web site.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Garrett Sawyer

More info
http://www.garrettsawyer.net

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mezquita - Recuerdos de mi Tierra – Spain's late 70s "progressive rock" scene was flowing in the abundance of new and creative talent and this short lived band was practically at the zenith of this genre's adherents. A heavily folk...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues