Octoberman Laguardia

Last year’s These Trails Are Old and New, Marc Morrissette’s solo debut as Octoberman, was a pleasant enough travelogue of his journey through Europe and Asia, but it lacked that certain something to separate it from being just another bland album from an albeit talented singer-songwriter. Initially, Laguardia was just going to be a tour CD-R but his label decided to give it a full release because it was so good. And, to be honest, it is an improvement over its predecessor, to a certain degree. His songs work better when stripped down to the barest bones, with just his voice, guitar and the occasional harmonica. Morrissette gets closer to getting it right with each release but isn’t quite there yet. Even at just seven songs, Laguardia begins to drag towards the end, as the songs begin to blend into each other. That could be due to the fact that it peaks on the opening song, the title track, which has a slight country twang and is fleshed out with some lovely female harmonies and mandolin. With a little more thought put into coming up with compelling arrangements to accompany his already interesting lyrics, the third time might be the charm for Octoberman. (White Whale)