Truly versatile and entirely innovative, US-based artist Leman blends alternative rock, pop-rock, folk, hip-hop, synth-pop and everything else you can imagine into his music. The brainchild of Christian Leman Brown, Leman has a unique ability to transport you to a different world with each chord. Despite being a relatively new artist on the scene, Leman has been featured on several online radios and podcasts capturing the attention of international audiences. We have the honour of reviewing his debut album Leman.
Most albums I come across have a specific theme and genre, but Leman traverses different styles, tones and issues. A highly conceptual album, Leman talks about, well, life in his debut album. Ranging from the alternative rock-influenced ‘Sleep?’ to the hip-hop ‘Dark Days’ and pop meets folk ‘You’re Gonna Go Far Kid’, the album can easily be placed as a soundtrack for those coming-of-age films. In fact, it might be the ideal soundtrack for any film depicting a person’s life from careless youthfulness to insightful adulthood.
It’s extremely difficult to describe Leman in detail as I would not do the album justice. My words seem insignificant when compared to this storytelling. Using a personal narrative, Leman takes us through his existence touching on depression, awkwardness, addiction, love, isolation, fear, anxiety and inner turmoil. Yet, while the songs linger on the more complex issues of life, one comes away with an overall sense of empowerment, enlightenment and acceptance.
Intimate and intense, Leman ensnares your senses and finds his way into your head with ease. Many of the first tracks expose the wistful innocence of life as a conflicted younger person; however, each song seems to have a duality of some sort. Whether this is the change in musical style within the song or the move from “I don’t care” to “please accept and help me”, Leman incorporates a bit of his soul in each track.
It is difficult to find a favourite tune amidst the provocative songs, but if I had to choose I would opt for ‘Coming Back Home’, ‘Until The Day I Die’ or ‘You’re Gonna Go Far Kid’. The three ballads touch on love, affection, acceptance and reflective introspection that I find very appealing. Leman’s rich vocals enhance the poignancy of the lyrics sending shivers down my spine, particularly with the James Blunt-esque ‘Coming Back Home’.
I find many things about this artist and album intriguing, but it is his way of clumping together certain themes using musical styles that I find interesting. On Leman, the fiery, hard-hitting tunes seem to represent younger aggression and rebellion; however, the more nostalgic, thoughtful and empowering songs are slower, steadier and send shivers down your spine. I also love the spoken word close of the album – a sonic representation of inner peace.
From the beginning to the end, Leman blows my mind with each track. Sending you into a musical spiral, you experience everything from turbulent rivers to soft comfortable clouds. Addictive and anthemic, Leman is the best album I have heard in a long time! I can’t wait for more from this talented musician!