Phillip LaRue [Let The Road Pave Itself]
Posted March 24, 2009
Young but uniquely experienced, Phillip LaRue has an admirable grip on how to live, and the proof is written all over his debut solo album, “Let the Road Pave Itself”. The album is catchy without trying to sound commercial, Phillip writes stay-in-your-head songs from the heart; real life musical stories about open-book faith, his closest loved ones, and struggling friends who don’t always believe as he does. Phillip and his sister Natalie released 3 albums as LaRue, and charted several pop hits including “Reason”, “Waiting Room” and “OK To Cry” and called it a day after Natalie wed. Phillip moved to Florida and produced notable indie acts like Over the Rhine and Dave Barnes for a worship project based on the Psalms. Now back in Nashville, he has recently written hit songs “Love Is Here” and “By Your Side” and produced rising band Tenth Avenue North.
“Let the Road Pave Itself” starts off with the first single “Chasing The Daylight”, a great song which includes the lyric “I want to chase the daylight like it’s the last day of my life”. “It’s in the unraveling of life that we find God even more”, Phillip says of the song. The next song “Home” is one of my favorite songs on the album and has a catchy chorus and his emotional vocal style reminded me of Shaun Groves and the entire album resembled the introspective style of Shaun’s debut Dove Award nominated album “Invitation To Eavesdrop”. Vocally, Phillip sings with raw vulnerability and is comparable to Adam Duritz of Counting Crows and Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, both in vocal tone and style of songs. The song “Erase And Rewind” is for a friend with suicidal thoughts and encourages him to know he’s loved by God. The other love songs on the album, “Don’t Be Deceived”, “All I Want” and “Sleeping Beauty” are love songs to Phillip’s wife. There are great parallels of God’s love for us with the love of a husband and wife. “All I Want” vocally reminded me of “Crack The Shutters” by Snow Patrol.
The last 2 songs, “Black and Blue” and “Mountains High Valleys Low” are stripped down and personal songs. In “Black and Blue”, Phillip’s sister Natalie wrote a poem about their younger sister Brianna who has cerebral palsy and an inoperable brain tumor. The song includes the lyrics “you deserve to walk to run to fly – all the things I wanted for you in this life”.
Phillip’s personal and relevant lyrics and vulnerable singing style made this a memorable and enjoyable album for me.
Rating: 9.2 out of 10 (92%, A)
Review written by: Kevin Davis | Review can also be found here.
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