Music, Print, Reviews January 15, 2013

Review: David Leonard – “To and From”

by Jay Wallace

DAVID LEONARDLeonard’s 2011 debut album, consisting of pleasant classical guitar noodling, is something you listen to after the end of a long day to unwind. Anyone can rock out or get their thrash on, but sometimes it’s nice to just listen to something calming, and that’s what Leonard’s pickings are. You pop in his CD or pull up his tracks on iTunes and just chill.

According to his website bio, Leonard, a registered nurse, began playing guitar at the age of ten, mostly studying rock and jazz. At 18 years old, he studied classical guitar for a year, mulling over the idea of making it a career. He later decided against it to pursue a wider variety of music.

His years of study shine through on his debut album. From the first track, “If I See You Tomorrow,” you find yourself just mellowing out, letting the music flow over you. It’s clear Leonard is no amateur. His composition is lovely and his picking is smooth and clear as can be.

“Breakfast at Noon,” the following track, has a bit a country/folk feel to its composition, leisurely and enjoyable. “Basque Country” has bit of a rough-and-tough sound. Though it doesn’t really sound aggressive, it’s an energetic song and a stand-out track on the album.

Track four, “Ribbon and Tears,” is the polar opposite of the previous track: calming and slow. “Time Apart” keeps that calming sensation, but picks up the pace and sounds more enjoyable. “T.V. Eyes” picks up the pace even more, the fastest picking Leonard does on the whole album, while “Held by the Moon” starts out slow and keeps a slower pace than the previous tracks.

“Like Hell,“ the eighth track on the album, possesses a more aggressive sound compared to the rest of the album, but is still leisurely. Meanwhile “Christine,” the following track, has the feel of a romantic ballad; very sweet sound. “Thi” reminds me of a fun Mexican tune, bringing the mood up. “Pedagogue” then brings it back down, having a melancholic sound to it.

This is followed by “Wood and Steel,” picking up the pace and cheer. It wouldn’t sound out of place in a southern summer home. “Summer Wheat” closes out the album, feeling like something that wouldn’t sound out of place on A Prarie Home Companion.

Leonard’s work is pleasant and soothing. There are days when you just want to relax, and Leonard’s stuff does that. Buy this album and listen to it while working to keep calm and collected.

Those interested in checking out Leonard’s live performances can hit him up at his website, To And From is also available on iTunes.

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