14 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Take a Bow, Greg Laswell shifts through the ashes of a burned-out love affair with a cool, steady hand. That’s not to say that the singer/songwriter doesn’t make his heartache plain; these songs are unsparing in their analysis of romantic breakdown. But Laswell rises above his melancholy thanks to the album’s atmospheric arrangements, embroidering simple folk/pop melodies with biting electric guitars and ambient keyboards. Tunes like “Come Clean” and the title song have an almost classical grace to them, while “Around the Bend” features the dramatic rock flourishes of a vintage Pink Floyd track. Laswell’s subdued delivery plays against the emotional sting embedded in his words — in “My Fight (For You),” he tosses off lines like “take my heart and drag it through your life” with acceptance rather than anger in his voice. “You, Now” captures the heady rush of new desire, setting the listener up for the brooding resolution of the final track “Goodbye.” More than an act of confession, Take a Bow is a shrewd, affecting elegy for broken dreams.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Take a Bow, Greg Laswell shifts through the ashes of a burned-out love affair with a cool, steady hand. That’s not to say that the singer/songwriter doesn’t make his heartache plain; these songs are unsparing in their analysis of romantic breakdown. But Laswell rises above his melancholy thanks to the album’s atmospheric arrangements, embroidering simple folk/pop melodies with biting electric guitars and ambient keyboards. Tunes like “Come Clean” and the title song have an almost classical grace to them, while “Around the Bend” features the dramatic rock flourishes of a vintage Pink Floyd track. Laswell’s subdued delivery plays against the emotional sting embedded in his words — in “My Fight (For You),” he tosses off lines like “take my heart and drag it through your life” with acceptance rather than anger in his voice. “You, Now” captures the heady rush of new desire, setting the listener up for the brooding resolution of the final track “Goodbye.” More than an act of confession, Take a Bow is a shrewd, affecting elegy for broken dreams.

TITLE TIME
3:23
3:50
3:33
3:58
4:46
3:59
3:57
2:48
3:50
4:18
4:02
3:53
3:04
1 3:21

Ratings and Reviews

5 out of 5

10 Ratings

10 Ratings

take a bow

Hakem Esma'el

its my favorite one song Nice album

About Greg Laswell

Originally from Long Beach, California, producer/singer/songwriter Greg Laswell moved to San Diego in the early '90s to attend college. He became involved in the city's music scene by fronting a local band, Shillglen, and founding All the Rest Records. Shillglen broke up in 2001, leaving Laswell free to write his own pop/rock material and devote more time to studio work. He made his solo debut with the release of 2003's Good Movie, which he financed himself and released on his own label. When All the Rest Records went out of business one year later, he started a new company -- 20 Inch Records -- and began working as a producer.

Good Movie became a local success, earning Laswell a contract with Vanguard Records in the process. He signed with the label and released a sophomore album, Through Toledo, in 2006. The album had been written and recorded during Laswell's divorce from his first wife, and its promising sound -- wistful, somber, but tuneful nonetheless -- earned him a spot on the Hotel Cafe's European tour. While touring in early 2008, he released an EP titled How the Day Sounds and readied himself for the arrival of his third album, Three Flights from Alto Nido, which appeared that summer. Around this time Laswell's songs began appearing in films (Friends with Benefits, My Sister's Keeper) and television series (Parenthood, Grey's Anatomy). A Covers EP arrived in 2009, followed by the full-length Take a Bow in May 2010.

Laswell issued his fourth outing, Landline, in 2012. Recorded in an old church/home studio in eastern Maine, Landline featured guest vocals from Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Sia, and Elizabeth Ziman. For 2014's I Was Going to Be an Astronaut, he re-recorded ten songs from his catalog and included a cover of "It's a Wonderful Life" in memory of its composer, Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous. Returning in early 2016, Laswell delivered Everyone Thinks I Dodged a Bullet, his seventh LP and first set of new songs since 2012. ~ Marisa Brown

HOMETOWN
Long Beach, CA
BORN
April 26, 1974

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