Songs for the General Public is the third album from The Lemon Twigs, an American rock band fronted by brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario. The two vocalists each contribute their own unique style, creating a rich contrast that is displayed right from the start. Hell On Wheels starts the album off with a late 70s feel, reminiscent of The Rolling Stones and Meatloaf. The tone quickly changes with Live In Favor of Tomorrow – a jubilant 60s style melody with jangly guitars and soaring vocals that create something slightly psychedelic. The addition of background vocals adds a certain depth to several tracks, blended skilfully with lush layers of drums, guitar and synth.
Among the more lighthearted pop tunes are several more introspective moments. No One Holds You Closer (Than The One You Haven’t Met) talks about the disillusionment of dreams clashing with reality, accompanied by squealing guitar and synth riffs. In Fight, an upbeat melody seems to disguise themes of a failing relationship. And The One focuses on never being able to find “the one”. They are testament to the abilities of the band to craft thoughtful, heartfelt lyrics.
The last few songs on the album in particular perfectly showcase the variety of the album. Why Do Lovers Own Each Other sounds as if it could be spoken word, set to gentle background music, while Leather Together has a distinct punk element. And Ashamed closes the album with a soft, acoustic ballad with a country style lilt.
Songs for the General Public is an album that can be enjoyed if not for its diversity then for its buoyant feel, which can hopefully inject some much needed cheer. It pays homage to classic artists of years gone by, from Iggy Pop to Supertramp, without ever feeling outdated or stuck in the past.