Johnny Lloyd: Next Episode Starts In 15 Seconds

review lloyd x1 cong

Lloyd is the former Tribes frontman: Tribes were an indie band, formed in 2010 and splitting in 2013. They might not have bothered your pop radar much, but it’s all part of a learning curve for a musician. Lloyd next appeared (to us anyway) with the Eden EP in 2017, which was a flawless pop EP, showing him to be a pop craftsman; Kanaval is a near-perfect pop tune and will cheer you up whatever.

So we were surprised at this new album (although not disappointed) as Lloyd has gone acoustic. He’s been doing other work, like scoring movies, so maybe he can afford to do what he wants with his album work.

The Press notes say each song was recorded in “no more than three takes”, and it does have a live feel, and despite the limited input — mostly guitar, vocals —has a warm feel.

The title track opens and it’s acoustic guitar and Lloyd’s rather gentle vocals melodically talking / singing the lines. The lyric is about various disasters in life — “wave it hit … the market crashed … fans all quit … oil ran dry … garden died”, and takes a rather Buddhist stance: he watches it pass and knows that change happens but the world moves on. Or it could be life as a Netflix boxset, as per the title. It’s a song of hope, though: “Live this life and live it long / Love yourself and sing along / Travel far and travel deep” it ends. “The world keeps turning / And there always gonna be another day”.

While it’s not strictly pop, Lloyd still has his sense of melody so songs such as I Need Help are strong pop tunes, just played slowly and dreamily. This one has drums and a full band; next song I’ll Be Me goes back to acoustic and appears to be a similar reflection to the opener, kicking off: “I’ll never be a boxer / Or the leader of a nation / I’ll never have an American high school education,” the twist being the chorus-of-sorts: “I’ll be better than you today”.

Elsewhere, Fix features harmonica, probably just so lazy critics can mention Dylan. “Her daddy’s rich / But he was never home” say the lyrics in a song we assume is about a son-of-a-star wild child who claims to be happy.

Mass Shooting is a Donovan-style folk tune about senseless killing, “the kids got handguns at 16 years young”, and the fact that you can blame violence on what you like but it won’t bring back a dead victim. There is a nice keyboard section in the middle, reminiscent of a funeral home, and the rhyming of “ammunition” and “Ritalin”. A quality song.

An excellent album that will appeal to folkies and pop lovers, too; we think Lloyd has got a lot left to do, too.

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