Review by Shannon Shumaker
Louis Schefano has found a truly timeless and unique sound on his first full-length album, Opposite Side of the World. With low-key, yet sometimes rather complex instrumentals and his soon to be soothing, mellow vocals, this singer/songwriter will lull you into relaxation and easily immerse you in his world in these ten tracks.
Opening Opposite Side of the World is the full sounding “Can’t Remember That,” a 60’s influenced track that will quickly set the mood for the rest of the album. Although rather mellow, the opening track is full of strong guitar work and poetic lyricism, flowing easily into the darker and somewhat slower “Burned.” The second track is somewhat somber and almost melodramatic feeling, but stunning nonetheless with subtle vocal harmonies and beautiful guitar work that rounds it out quite nicely.
One of the strongest songs is the bright third track, “Come To Think.” This jingle comes across as very upbeat and sunny without sounding too over the top or bubblegum alongside the darker “Burned.” The result is a sound similar to The Shins but with toned-down vocals that easily worm their way into your head. The great thing about Louis Schefano's voice is how easygoing it is, floating with ease through your speakers and delivering soft melodies. Whether you’re giving the album your full attention or only half-listening your first time though, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised.
In fact, the only downside listeners may find on this album is its tendency to fade into the background as it plays on. During my first few listens of Opposite Side of the World, I found myself forgetting that I was actually listening with the intention of reviewing these songs and they ended up fading into the background while I browsed the internet or got distracted by something else entirely. This could be both a pro and a con, as it makes for a very easy listen, but can also sometimes tend to turn into background noise if you aren’t giving it your full attention, which I urge you to do, or you just might miss some quirks or some of the more special moments on the album.
Despite the mellow sounds on Opposite Side of the World, there is still definitely quite a bit of diversity in these songs, as well. Where “Love Won’t Fly” is very simple and stripped down, the following “Song For Anthony” feels a lot fuller and brighter, focusing more on electric guitar and a strong rhythm section. The next track, “After All” is very warm and welcoming, where the title track takes on a well thought out full band sound.
Louis Schefano has settled somewhere nicely between The Shins and Conor Oberst with his 60’s-flavored sound and mellow, soothing vocals, and the result is something that fans will be able to listen to again and again, but never tire of. At its core, this debut album is 100% Louis Schefano. Sleepy guitar work, soulful vocals and smooth mood changes are present throughout all ten songs, establishing a stunning sound and giving listeners something warm to get them through the rest of winter and spring.
Listen to "Come To Think"
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