Review: Baron Lewis "Long Overdue"

British singer-songwriter Baron Lewis has a rich voice reminiscent of a curious mixture of the soulful Michael McDonald and country impresario Phil Vassar. With a little help from friend and Spiritualized (Britpop supergroup) guitarist Tony "Doggen" Foster, Baron Lewis has created a masterful album that is never predictable and immensely entertaining with the appropriately titled "Long Overdue."
The album begins with the comfortable "Inspiration," which offers laid-back charm. However, the country quotient rises considerably with the passionate "Fortune Game" that should receive a rapturous response from radio program directors.

The biggest surprise of the album is the bold and smart "Something To Prove," which ratchets up the rock. The haunting "Ghost" shows Baron Lewis in top form, but it is the sparse "Did What I Had To" which provides the album's best musical moment. Lewis delivers an award-worthy vocal performance. "Stolen Soul" has much of the same charm.

The melodic "Destiny" also gives Lewis a moment of vocal shimmer, but the album's best chance for a radio hit might be the reflective "Frustrated Future." Lewis sings: "Destiny you've got nothing to fear." Indeed, this song seems to represent the true basis of the music of Baron Lewis, and the heartfelt and emotional vocal performance has a pensive sensibility that is both classic and classy.

"Long Overdue" showcases an artist who is only just discovering the full range of his talents. Baron Lewis may hail from across the Atlantic, but the hopes and dreams fully encompassing songs such as "Fortune Game" and "Frustrated Future" will be well accepted by Lewis' new friends in North America.