Lawrence Arabia: Lawrence Arabia
By Kent Walsdorf
Intelligent compositions, great production and a diverse incorporation of varied musical genres make this a brilliant album. James Milne, who once belonged to The Brunettes and now fronts The Reduction Agents, is here in solo mode. He touches upon Beatlesque melodies with rock rhythms, then pushes you into an experimental emptiness, only to quickly fish you out with angelic harmonies, then chill you out with ambient atmospheres. And while all this is going on there is still a recognisability about the work that shows he’s not just ‘having a go’. Far from it. The album includes the thoughtful use of electronic beats, lusty synths with great folk/rock acoustic instrumentation and performance. Overall it is a slightly gloomy aesthetic, supported by an either deliberately raspy or equally gloomy controlled vocal. The production deserves a mention - very sparse, very warm, very good. Tracks like Thistle Tends to Stingle and Half the Right Size have a sense of timelessness - almost like it should’ve been on an old Bowie record. A solid asset for Milne’s own Honorary Bedouin Records.