Review Summary: Wypipo slow jamz
One of the most interesting thing about Harrison Lipton’s Loveliness
is how well he manages to reconcile his bona fide
soulful R&B-flecked singer-songwriter chops with his love for dream pop aesthetics. While his elastic melodies, relatively unencumbered by excessive reverb, gracefully float on waves of minimalistic grooves and sparse but effective instrumentation, Lipton reveals that he mainly showed up to cajole his way into your ears’ pants, and he doesn’t mind resorting to some three part falsetto harmonies, as on “Smile” and “Flames”, or dipping into a basso thrum in order to do it. Even when he’s crooning about “sitting on your couch watching Totoro
” you know what he’s really thinking is “a flicker of your light / is like a beacon in the night / you make me ooooohhh
” (“Beacon”). The only time the smoothness of his delivery is replaced by something approaching angst is on “Loneliness”—the tale of a New York City romance being broken up by the lure of California sunshine—but even that just momentarily crescendoes in emotional and vocal histrionics before settling back into soulful blue-eyed melancholy.
Of course, none of this would work if Lipton didn’t have the vocal chops to pull it off, but thankfully he does. His voice is positively soaked in warmth and soul, and is complemented well by the shimmery guitars, hazy synths, understated percussion, and a light touch with the production. It’s tasteful and more intricate than it appears on the surface—there are some pretty little arpeggiated synths and bluesy guitar leads swimming around deep under those glassy sheens—but maybe just a bit too
subtle to make an impression or break through to the surface. Then again, it’s meant to be a pastel coloured canvas for Lipton to paint his sleek R&B melodies on, and Lipton definitely seems to know that, whether you’re getting your groove on, lazing in the sun, or just unwinding after a long day, nothing kills the mood as quickly as getting snagged on a sharp edge of any kind.