Because We Never Talk About It
(Engine Room Recordings)
There are many clichés about singer/songwriters for a reason. So many play guitar or piano, sing about heartbreak, and follow a specific verse and chorus formula that all seem to flow together. Unfortunately, Luke Wesley is another artist caught in that mix, though there are glimmers of hope that he can break out of this cycle on his latest effort, Because We Never Talk About It. His instrument of choice is piano, and while he lays his heart out on most of the songs, he comes across as the male answer to Sara Bareilles, with “Here Is Your Ballad” sounding like it would mash-up perfectly with her hit “Love Song.”
Have no doubt, Wesley is a clever writer who knows how to craft a tune. “Pretty Boy” provides a glimpse into the banality of the everyday, and “Sorry I’m Not Hotter” has some funny lines about how men are also judged on their looks. But for the most part, I spent my listen to this album waiting for something to happen. Every track falls between three and four minutes long, and nothing comes across as all that passionate. The closest Wesley gets to crossing over that line is “Fool’s Gold,” just past the two-minute mark when the music starts to slip away from polished control and the singer’s voice rises beyond its normal range. It’s only a few fleeting seconds though, and then the tempest sinks back into the calm, but unremarkable, water.