Prime your ears, because Jamie Lawson’s major label debut LP will be taking over the airwaves for the foreseeable future
Plymouth songwriter Jamie Lawson is the first signing to Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records, and following the success of his UK Top 40 and ARIA Charts No 3 single Wasn’t Expecting That, the eponymous Jamie Lawson sees him making his major label album debut.
It should be pointed out that this is not Lawson’s first album; in fact it’s his fourth, with his debut coming as long ago as 2006. This will, though, be his first foray in front of aa larger audience. And audience is the key word here, for there’s a real sense throughout the record that this is a ready-made soundtrack for a lovelorn comedy. This is clear in the heartbreaking chords of Sometimes It’s Hard, which recalls Badly Drawn Boy’s excellent About A Boy and Let Love Hold You Now, which is the sort of reassuring number that Richard Curtis would eat up. However in the absence of a scriptwriter Lawson is obliged to let the music speak for itself.
Given Sheeran’s interest, it’s of little surprise that Lawson’s songwriting talks a similar language to The A Team singer, with Wasn’t Expecting That and Cold In Ohio sounding not so much like Sheeran b-sides, but tracks that could easily have featured on the Yorkshire songwriter’s debut LP. However, Lawson is his own man and what makes him so is that his songs are not simply radio-friendly, but born to be stars. This much is clear on Someone For Everyone, which is a potential autumn smash. Lawson’s palatability is not to say, though, that his writing is soulless. Every note on In Our Own Worlds rings with sincerity, and All Is Beauty is the sort of delicate number that that the handbook of sensitive songwriting is filled with.
Jamie Lawson will receive a lot of attention for being the first of Sheeran’s signings, but the standard of the writing on Jamie Lawson is such that after one listen all the interest will be on Lawson himself, and we’re sure the charts will agree. If you’re a fan of sensitive guitar songwriters, don’t be surprised if Jamie Lawson is on your playlist long into 2016.
Verdict: Chart-ready songwriting from a potential star