Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Jul 15th, 2016

Grant Lyle: Nu

grant lyleGrant Lyle

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A sweet guitar slow, echoy, single-note instrumental, “So Glad You’re Here,” opens Grant Lyle’s new album, Nu. The big funk, snapping and tight, sparkling, high-end guitar noodling of “Cannonball,” with its complicated lead lines, comes next, showing quickly this stellar guitarist’s dexterity. “On the Wire” is a big, fun John Hiatt-like commercial ditty with piano and fat bass under Lyle’s sedate slide playing. The tom beat works especially well on the chorus and the horns in the bridge all mix perfectly for a heady brew. “Rally Cry” has a neat, gated guitar effect and with the electric piano behind him and that wonderful drumming (again) we get a nice, thick tapestry under Lyle’s pleading vocals. It’s a sly blues tune about love, with a slipping-in organ creating another memorable melody. “Power Trip” has a jumpy piano and snapping beat, with Lyle manning that clean guitar lead sound. “The in Thing,” with him playing a wa-wa guitar then clean lines is probably the song that showcases the man’s overall expressive playing to the fore. We get lots of color here with clean guitar, fluid flicking verses over chunking organ and big snare, then choruses with big strummed acoustic, then those tighter moments with funky sounding guitar, all with Lyle managing a sedate vocal across this great, great tune. Not more than once on Nu did I feel a Frampton vibe, as much from Lyle’s vocals as his ability to play clean as well as distorted (on “The in Thing,” especially). The man certainly has his own style and voice though, to be sure.

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Grant Lyle: Nu