“I’ve been hearing rumors about a revolution” is boldly written at the top of Person L‘s MySpace page. The question is whether The Starting Line‘s singer Kenneth Vasoli‘s declaration of independence from record labels and the Starting Line would result in a positive or a negative change.
Person L’s debut album Initial definitely is a revolution. Fans should not go into this album expecting songs as pop and radio friendly as “Island” or as girl-focused as hits “Bedroom Talk” and “Best of Me.” Vasoli’s experimental side is a lot more dramatic than his previous band’s. Creepy harmonies and eerie chords in minor keys make songs like “Help Yourself” downright haunting.
Instrumentally, the clean chord progressions of the Starting Line have been replaced with grittier progressions as Vasoli plays around with reverb effects. When listening, really notice the percussion. It’s subtle, but things like the cutback to just bass drum at the end of “Wooden Soldiers” brilliantly closes the song, thus giving the perfect feeling that soldiers are marching away.
“Sunshine” is the most accessible song on the album and because of that I had at first brushed it off because I thought it was too safe. After a second listen, however, the beautiful piano and the pondering presented in the lyrics make it a song worth listening closely to. This song, and album closer “Storms,” are probably the closest to the style of the Starting Line.
I commend Vasoli for taking risks on this album and trying new things. However, since he was able to do whatever he wanted, this album lacks a cohesive flow. “Canyonlands” seems superb on its own, but it clashes when “Born in the Rainy Days of May” follows. Individually, the songs have something to offer, but as an album, there is still work that needs to be done before Vasoli proves to me that he is really better off on his own.
Person L’s Initial is self-released by Vasoli’s Human Interest on August 5, 2008. Think twice about illegally downloading this since a portion of all proceeds benefits a human-interest charity in honor of the label name.
01. Wooden Soldiers
02. Holy Hell
03. Help Yourself
05. Born in the Rainy Days of May
06. We’re Gonna Run Out of Road
Person L: myspace
Written by: Bethany