Review of Loner's album 'Western Sci-fi'
Loner, aka Geoff Smith, releases the melancholic and ethereal 'Western Sci-fi' on the Just Music Label.
Loner, or Geoff as I like to call him, is a classically trained pianist and his attributes are shown off on a couple of the tracks on 'Western Sci-fi'; 'Already Numb' and 'Farewell My Friend' are both delicate songs where only piano and vocals are used to convey the heartfelt lyrics.
The remainder of the album however verges on electronic pop with a heavy emphasis on arrangement, and the use of left wing inflections such as samples and digital interference. The mix of piano and modern electronic sounds and simplistic lyrics give the album a movie soundtrack feel, which is not a bad thing, oddly it's a perfect album to fall asleep to. again this is not meant as a put down.
'Supernatural' sports some nice acoustic guitar mixed with some shimmering effects and dulcet 80's style vocals, which seems to work. Some nice drum beats are employed on 'Without You' with some subtle keyboards and Pet Shop Boy's style vocals.
The monika Loner came about apparently from his preference of working alone, in his bedroom with a laptop and keyboard for company. The name also marries with the overall ghostly sound to the album. Geoff's influences include Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Johnny Cash, the down beat writing often has similarities but Geoff's arrangement's and use of complimenting instruments are often more elaborate.
The album has a simple, yet complex feel to it and though there seems to be no mainstream appeal to 'Western Sci-fi' the production and quality cannot be denied. An excellent album, that requires no concerted effort to listen to.
Highlights: Supernatural, Soho and Farewell My Friend