Lewis MacLeod For Sale As Is

Okay, let's get it out of the way from the start: Lewis MacLeod comes from a pretty impressive family of writers. His father, Alistair, is an internationally acclaimed CanLit figure, while brother Alexander is poised to continue that legacy. Lewis showcases that knack for narrative on this debut album, which clearly contains plenty of material the 36-year-old has been saving up for a long time. Most of it is gritty (bitter, one might daresay), but the wide assortment of Celtic-leaning musical friends MacLeod assembled to make For Sale As Is lends the result an interesting Lou Reed-fronting-the Pogues vibe. It's often hard to determine whether the lyrics save the music from becoming too melodramatic or vice versa. Either way, that constant battle results in an album that sets specific goals that few other singer-songwriters are conscious of anymore and, on the whole, achieves them. (Independent)