Review - Lewis Fieldhouse: Theodor Washington and the Central Valley (album)
Anyone who saw Lewis Fieldhouse perform in an acoustic night at Major Tom’s in Harrogate the other week will know he’s far from the usual clichéd, simplistic singer-songwriter.
Written after a penniless spell in California, his lyrics of life and love on Theodor Washington and the Central Valley are tartly bitter-sweet.
But so memorable are the melodies, so sweet his occasionally falsetto vocals, listening to Lewis’s debut album is like stepping out into a bright summer’s day.
A master of the elegant hook and sophisticated arrangement, Lewis shows he can can do songwriterly introspection (closing track Istanbul) and country-tinged Americana (Fell In Love, ++++ed It Up) as well as anyone if he feels like it.
But mostly - on the likes of cracking opening track Megan Are You Goin My Way and the insanely catchy Mary - this brilliant songwriter specialises in toe-tapping pop with a hint of rock punch.
Packed with consistently top rate songwriting, it's easy to say memorable tracks on this dazzling collection such as He Hath Made You Rich sound a bit like Vampire Weekend crossed with Paul McCartney, The Feeling and Crowded House.
On the insanely catchy track two, Mary, Lewis even manages to come up with the best track the Scissor Sisters never recorded.
In truth, Lewis Fieldhouse sounds like no one but himself and that's more than enough.
With nice sleeve artwork by young ex-Harrogate artist Dan Shay, Theodor Washington and the Central Valley is simply a stunning debut album.