Lawrence Arabia’s The Sparrow is a modern album for the old at heart. The third solo release by Arabia takes classy strings, brass, and keys while pairing them with lo-fi vocals. Despite the release moving at a fairly slow pace, it isn’t tiresome like some would think. Instead, this swanky doo-wop sound is something that one might’ve heard at dances back in time or at retro ice cream parlors. “Traveling Shoes” sets the stage for the nostalgic release. Arabia’s voice is both fresh yet has that ageless tone that acts as a virtual time machine. Both the strings and brass sections complement each other on “Lick Your Wounds” though the elegant and very sad string piece brings upon a morose feeling very early on. The Sparrow has its uplifting moments, but isn’t an overly cheery release in the slightest. It does, however, have just the right amount of cynicism and romantic moments.
Despite the album having very different sounding songs, which each have their own unique qualities, “Early Kneecapping” doesn’t really stand out among the other cuts. The extended ending is about the only thing that makes it sound at least a little bit different. To make up for the blandness, “The Bisexual” has a swinging effect. The seventh track twists, turns and gracefully slides with its sensual brass parts and romantic keys. The finale, “Legends” lulls, charms and sways its way to the end while taking some of the sting away from the other pieces.
The Sparrow has a smidgen of class mixed with dirtiness, an odd combination but worth a listen or two.
In A Word: Sleek