One by Stuart Lawrence is a heartfelt album with a nice mix of hi-tempo, energetic anthems, and melancholic heartfelt ballads. Exploring the album’s narratives with a mix of acoustic and classic rock, One takes you on an uncompromised musical journey.
Beginning with a heartfelt ballad, the titular song, One, pulls you in with a tender story about love. I appreciate how the theme of ownership in relationships is communicated. There is this mutual and respectful understanding that both people are there for each other, conveyed poetically through the lyrics. I love the slow strumming on the guitar and its melodic interactions with the vocals.
To The Limit is a track that pulls the album in a more energetic direction with faster strumming, pacey drum playing, and this crunchy, lead electric guitar part. The lead guitar elevates the other aspects of the track with its confident, grinding distortion. I like how the melody of this one evolves throughout, allowing the energy to ebb and flow naturally. I also have to give props to the vocals. They sound equally at home on the first track and this one. It shows the flexibility of his delivery to adapt to different intensities across the album.
As we move towards the middle of the album, tracks like Jail Keeper’s Eyes and Screaming Blue Murder do an excellent job of combining the classic rock energy of To The Limit with the melancholic narrative storytelling of One. Screaming Blue Murder is a personal favourite for this, with a subtle electric guitar used during builds in tension throughout the track. They subtly lift the complex sonic texture track without stealing the limelight.
It isn’t all reserved and subtle from this point forward. Avoiding Traffic Lights stokes those classic rock flames and allows the guitar to explore the melody more completely than I have seen on other tracks across the album. Here, the guitar presents like a duet with the vocals, due to its articulate and emotionally resonant execution and its dominant position in the mix. This track does a great job of demonstrating the technical proficiency of Lawrence.
This album is a smorgasbord of fun and heartfelt classic and acoustic rock bangers that don’t sacrifice emotional resonance for their catchy riffs and hooks.