It’s aaaaaaall perspectiiveeeee. A solid way to open an album called Perspective, if I do say so myself. Now, I’ve been a Lawson fan for six years of my life, and the release of Chapman Square way back in 2012 was possibly the best thing that had ever happened to me. After the releas
e of their debut album, none of us thought we’d be waiting another four years to hear a new one. But, alas, we did have to wait that long, but boy, was it worth it. Perspective is what every single Lawson fan dreamed it would be; a completely fresh, original-sounding album, with just a hint of Chapman Square nostalgia.
Track one isn’t really a track. But I still love it. You don’t realise just how catchy one-minute album openings are until you’re singing them absent-mindedly in public. The Perspective intro not only sticks in your head for days on end, but it makes you think harder than an album should. This short opening track, which consists of only 26 lyrics, boasts more power and thought than the majority of songs played on the radio today, and that’s how I immediately knew we were onto a winner with Perspective.
We first heard a song seemingly called I Got You back in 2015, when Lawson played a show at London Scala. It was an absolute belter, needless to say. But then, come 2016, I Got You is suddenly called We Are the Fire? I can’t complain, because it is the perfect summer anthem, regardless of its name. The drawn-out intro is bound to be used as a way to open their live shows, and I for one cannot wait for them to open tour with this one. With catchy lyrics and an even catchier tune, We Are the Fire should definitely make this year’s summer playlist.
Speaking of catchy tunes, Money definitely doesn’t disappoint on that front. It’s a completely different style of song for Lawson, but that doesn’t mean I love it any less. I think the personal story behind the song definitely adds to its character and I cannot wait to see this one live; I bet the atmosphere is electric. It’s by no means my stand out track on this album, but it’s still an upbeat anthem with the capacity to get stuck in your head for days.
I can’t even think about Where My Love Goes without tears forming in my ears. In a world full of Kanye Wests, we need more Andy Browns. Andy Brown who treats his girl like a princess and writes her beautiful songs and just is your ultimate boyfriend
goals. Not only is Where My Love Goes some of the most loving and tender song writing I’ve ever heard, but the video just gives it a whole new depth. Having the chance to see one of my most favourite people in the entire world proposing to the girl of his dreams has made my year 100% better, I couldn’t be happier for the two of them.
And then we come onto something completely different. Changing the mood up from Where My Love Goes, Rio is a classic summer anthem with a chilled carnival vibe. How this hasn’t made an appearance in the Olympics coverage yet, I have no clue. Rio is a completely different sound for Lawson, and that is why I have immense love for this song – it’s showing their versatility. If you’re ever off on a road-trip, make sure Rio is on the playlist. There’s nothing quite like driving along in the sun listening to this.
Now, Joel Peat has made me a promise about the next song. I have the screenshots and everything. He has to start a hoedown when they play this one live. Because, honestly, isn’t that the first thing you think of when you hear When I’m Old? Completely switching up the style of the album again, When I’m Old is just a little reminder of how much Lawson love country music, and feel inspired by it. Couple that with some beautiful story-telling and catchy lyrics, and the notion of how incredible this song will be to see live, and When I’m Old will become one of your favourite songs on this album.
It’s pretty ironic that a song about how redundant crying is makes you cry, but that’s exactly what Only Water does for the first 500 listens. I can just imagine us on tour, all crying our eyes out while Andy sings “Why cry?”. Magical. Anyway, this song is definitely the album’s tear-jerker, do not listen if you’re going through any kind of heartbreak because it will make it a million times worse. I have to applaud the song writing on this one; you can just tell that every lyric has been so thought out (sometimes I don’t know myself and I find I’m in tears when I least expect it? It’s like Andy just described how I’m feeling in one easy lyric). Only Water serves to remind me that Lawson are the kings of knowing how to get under your skin with a song. It’s like they know you better than you know yourself. Scary. Despite being hands-down the saddest song on the album, Only Water is not one to be missed, ever. It’s one to make you sit up and think, yeah, tears are only water.
I’m not gunna beat around the bush here; Lion’s Den is hands-down my favourite song on this album. Although it’s not usurped Touch as my favourite Lawson song ever (weird choice, I know), it’s definitely one of the best songs I’ve heard all year. Impressive drumming from our lovely Ads, impressive vocals from our lovely Andy, impressive… bassing from our lovely Ry, but none of that really compares to that guitar solo. I have never been so enthusiastic about a guitar solo in my entire life, but honestly, it’s one of the best things I have ever heard. Joel Peat needs to take a serious bow, because I reckon everyone went colon capital ‘o’ (you get me right…? As in :O? No? Okay) when they heard the last 29 seconds of this song. If you were going to listen to any song off this album, I would urge that it is Lion’s Den. The rock vibe is again showing how versatile Lawson are (honestly, I struggle to believe that Where My Love Goes and Lion’s Den were written by the same person), the guitar solo is to die for and I just know that this is going to be amazing live. (Side note: I’m convinced this song is about a BDSM relationship. You heard it here first).
Ahhh, Roads. Remember when we all first heard Roads and we were convinced that Lawson had gone all country on us? That was way back at the start of 2015. How time flies. Anyway, I love Roads. The whole country vibe will never not make me smile. Also the video will never not make me smile. Impressive legs, Brown. Although not as openly country as When I’m Old, I reckon Roads still demands a hoedown. It also demands many, many puns to be made from the lyric “all roads lead to…” Honestly, this song is over a year old and I’m still making puns.
The second I heard I Look Anyway, I was in love. The words that immediately sprung to mind were “classic Lawson.” The whole vibe of the song is very Chapman Square, and I reckon this album kind of needed that. Despite the majority of Perspective being very different to its predecessor, just a bit of nostalgia was necessary. I Look Anyway reminds me of the Lawson I knew way back in 2011, and that in turn makes me a bit emotional because it reminds me just how far these boys have come. Not only does I Look Anyway make you reminisce, but it’s relatability will hit you like a tonne of bricks. The line “and though it causes so much pain, I look anyway” is already being used in answer to “what’s the best lyric on the album?” because it just is so damn relatable. I don’t think there’s anyone out there who can say they haven’t done something even though they knew it would hurt. I Look Anyway is the perfect blend of relatability and nostalgia and would definitely make my top 10 of all-time favourite Lawson songs.
Let’s think back to London Scala again, where we also heard Used to be Us for the first time. What. A. Song. Although it boasts a more mellow rock vibe than Lion’s Den, it’s still unmistakeably grittier than the other tracks on the album. Andy’s described this song as a fan favourite many times before, and honestly, he’s not wrong. It’s a proper anthem, with real, story-telling lyrics and a good amount of lead guitar that is hands-down one of the best Lawson songs to experience live. The atmosphere is electric.
Finally, Love and War. A vibe we have never, ever, heard from Lawson before. I love it. It’s so mellow yet so not. The verses are so calm, but then the chorus drops and suddenly you’re imagining Andy getting shot at with cannon balls. Madness. But all in all, this is a great song. A proper doomed romance song. Plus, the vocals from Alyssa Bonagura give the song so much depth, and it’s so refreshing to hear a female voice on a Lawson track. Basically, I absolutely love this song. It’s deep, it’s different and it’s the perfect way to round off Lawson’s second album.
So that was my review. Stand-out songs are definitely Lion’s Den and I Look Anyway. Listen to them right now, I demand it. And while you’re at it, go and watch the Where My Love Goes video. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from this album. Each track is so distinctive and every song tells a story. I’d almost forgotten what it felt like to have new Lawson music in my life, but now that we finally have album number two, I can categorically state that it was so worth the wait.
P.s. If you got the deluxe version, you’ll know just how amazing Champion and The Life of Michael May are. Two solid, beautiful songs, one of which will leave you asking “who the fuck is Michael May?”