Leo Abrahams // Zero Sum // Palomino // 04.03.13
To describe Leo Abrahams as being multi-talented would be downplaying it some. The Camden-born producer/session guitarist/ musician is one of those people that you’d feel embarrassed to ‘Wikipedia’ having never heard of him before.
Apparently, Leo doesn't really enjoy or find much time to record solo-material, which is a shame considering how enjoyable ‘Zero Sum’ is in places.
The album features six songs, all of which are delicate, multi-textured guitar tracks that would best be described as relaxing folk. Each has its subtle differences whilst staying true to the genre-something that will please guitar aficionados but perhaps less-so the average listener.
Lyrically speaking there’s something in it for everyone, in ‘A Different Kind Of Wrong’ Abrahams says how life got on top of him ‘like a big brown dog’ – a statement which aptly depicts the conversational and comfortable tone of ‘Zero Sum’.
Unfortunately ‘That’s What You Do’ is uncomfortably over sung, with every single verse line drawn out for effect. Far better is ‘Sleep Here’, where violins add drama to an otherwise ethereal tune.
Abraham’s work has vivid, movie-like feel in places; it’s not a surprise that he helped to write the music for ‘The Lovely Bones’ and ‘Hunger’.
‘Time Take Me Back’ sounds exactly like that point where your eyes become too heavy for you to keep open, but in a good way. So soothing is Abrahams’ style that it lures you in to the dreamy landscapes he fills with layer upon layer of tranquillity. No more is this true than of ‘Winter Kiss’, which uses deceivingly quick tribal drums to paint a picture of a wonderful wilderness.
For the impatient or untrained ear ‘Zero Sum’ could be dismissed as being too similar, but if given time it sounds like a well constructed album of elegance that explores the guitar rather than exploits it.