Review of 'This is Now and ... Then' by author Robert Lawson

The following is a review of 'This is Now and ... Then' by author Robert Lawson. Rather than link to the review which may be lost in time, we thought to include the entire review herein. Enjoy! - ck

Clockwise is a loose assemblage of Toronto musician Claude Kent and his rotating bunch of locals. The 2015 album This Is Now And...Then is a near-perfect presentation of principled song craft showcasing intelligent, wry lyricism with a welcoming blast of adult pop arrangements. Kent's a detail specialist who never lets his own romantic shortcomings escape his reflective gaze. In pure pop tradition, the hooks are in the melodies not the guitar work.  

The album opens with "I Don't Know" a Nick Lowe type track with a purposeful lead vocal, warm organ flourishes and a tight drum sound. A dreamy intro begins "Still Got It Bad" which has friendly hand-claps during the concise guitar solo. Kent leans hard into the chorus ("I bet you still got it bad!") with increased determination.  Another winner straight out of the gate, "All I Want Is Everything" has sugary harmony vocals and the immortal refrain, "all I want is everything in the world, all I need is everything and the girl". On "Sugar Coat It", Kent channels his inner Graham Parker over squealing feedback. The album's sunny upbeat vibe takes a dark turn on "Someone Or Something New". Here Kent explores dark introspection stating "since you put me down I've been riddled with doubt". 

Why this album didn't get wider exposure upon release is a mystery. Recommended for fans of Rockpile, Elvis Costello, Squeeze etc. - Robert Lawson

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