Album Review: Phillip LaRue – Colors

Based in Nashville, USA, Phillip LaRue is a singer, songwriter and producer who has just come to my attention thanks to his emotional new album centred on the relationships in his life. It’s called Colors.

By Graeme Smith

Colors features thirteen tracks intended to be listened to on a road trip. Even if you’ve nowhere to go, it’s a collection that will take you places as its sonic journey unfolds. We start with its title track. A slow-burning neoclassical intro gives way to something a little more folk pop. Phillip’s soulful vocals are instantly striking and the sense of emotion is heightened. It’s a strong opening.

Desert Rose brings us a lively drum beat combined with invigorating bass, twinkling electronica and romantic lyrics. It All is a philosophical moment with a vibrant, dreamy cinematic pop arrangement. Just Breathe is a moody, reflective track with wonderfully descriptive lyrics. Take A Fall is a tasteful mix of melancholia and jazzy groove while Thank You June is introspectively acoustic. Indigo sits at the heart of the album providing a light and lilting guitar melody, and delightfully soaring moments. It’s a highlight.

Dandelion gives us bluesy licks and poetic lyrics. Nightingale is understatedly epic, straying into soft rock territory. Never Break is pensively heart-warming while Ships is bright and adventurous. Cover You gives us the album’s emotional low point before rising to a stirring conclusion. Amen rounds things off with delicate piano and a soul-rendering contemplation on death.

In Colors, Phillip LaRue proves to be a master of creating a soundscape full of emotion and compelling details. The album journeys through a range of styles and genres but stays cohesive thanks to Phillip’s distinctive vocals. It’s well worth putting some time aside to get lost in it, especially on a wet afternoon such as this.

You can listen to Colors below.