Larry Lootsteen

Larry Lootsteen


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Larry Lootsteen

Title
Music Writer and Reviewer
Bio
I am a music writer and reviewer.  I love indie bands and giving new bands a good word when I see something that catches my interest.  I have regular posts on Alan Cross' A Journal Of Musical Things site (http://ajournalofmusicalthings.com/)
Website
Expertise
emerging artists, music writing, writing, music curation
Interests
alternative, indie, music
Location
Ontario, Canada

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Recent Feedback

Jay Bonaparte submitted media.

Lost Cause by PARAGâ´˛N CAUSE

Larry Lootsteen

Great opening!  More unique than I'm used to lately.  Love the opening vocal.  Seems like a slow build and I love that.  Great synth and solid drum.  Sounds like an updated OMD or Pet Shop Boys with a bit of a harder edge.  Vocal is astounding.  Love it!  This is all flowing and swirling SO well together!!  Having a hard time typing while listening because I'm stopping to just listen.  This is something I'd expect to see played on stations like Edge 102 in Toronto or similar.  I wish other stations played this kind of music.  Super well done!  I hope this hits home far and wide!  Well done!!

Jeremy R submitted media.

Footprints In The Sand by JRtheBand

Larry Lootsteen

Love the opening.  Drum especially.  Great voice and love the extensions in the early lyrics.  Something special in the cadence of the vocals.  Didn't like the high pitched guitar around 1:20.  The music is almost secondary.  The vocal is everything here and I like that.  Transition is nice around 2:20.  Guitar solo is okay but nothing special or different.  The song overall is a journey.  I'd be tempted to change the guitar as I'm not sure the tone fits the feeling.  Maybe a bit of piano in there?  Just needs a little punch in the background to my ears.  Still, a great song!

Mike Chung submitted media.

Lion At Rico by SUNSLINGER

Larry Lootsteen

Intriguing opening.  A little taken aback by the keys opening but it worked.  Vocal is different but kind of cool.  I like the vibe through the first third of the song.  The long break between vocal segment actually works quite well here.  I keep wondering where this is going.  There's a bit of mystery which is a good thing.  The vocal is brilliantly strange and enticing.  I keep waiting for a real crescendo and it isn't coming except vocally.  Very cool.  Original and held my attention front to back!  Well done indeed! 

submitted media.

You Versus the World by Mr. Dreem

Larry Lootsteen

Love the opening.  Intriguing noise catches the ear immediately.  Great beat.  Vocals are REALLY interesting!    Not sure I like the high pitched "Youuuu" but that's minor.  Drumming mix really works well and is varied enough to keep it interesting.  Feels like a brand new version of an 80's vibe.  I'm glad you threw in the break two-thirds through.  Nice transition to the finale and it's different and draws you in.  I'd skip the fade out and do a proper ending to the song.  I think a hard stop would work on this track.  Great song though!  Well done!

Clark Souter submitted media.

Stark Simplicity by CLARK

Larry Lootsteen

LOVE the opening!  Definite Gary Numan vibe off the top.  Right up my alley.  This is the kind of music this world needs right now and there is not enough of it.  The electronics are swirling and giving a beautiful mood.  I'm loving the vocal elements as they add both a bit of dire and a bit of hope at the same time.  I never quite understood why this style didn't take to the mainstream.  I love this!!  Well done indeed!  The transitional sectioning really works.  Musically solid but the vocal is what is getting me the most right now.  Great flow to the end of the song.  Impressive stuff!  I need to share this one.

Arman Asadsangabi submitted media.

Larry Lootsteen

Love the guitar opening.  Never enough of those!  Both a very retro and very forward sound, a la Jack White.  The vocals are strong and are clear over the music which is a common complaint I have with bands that play over the singer.  The musical pause with the "Money comes, money goes" lyric is very effective.  Maybe add one more?  The noise overflow towards the end is awesome as well!  Great stuff and the right length not to get boring and repetitive with the sound.  Well done!

Dylan JJ submitted media.

Betty by Ten Minute Detour

Larry Lootsteen

Great opening bit.  Loving the guitar.  A bit retro but a lot not.  I like the mash of sound.  The dirty vocals really work.  The whole flow of the song works for me.  Not overly repetitive which I really appreciate.  A song that makes me want to move, which is rare these days.  Also rare to hear a song I like from front to back so well done!  Absolutely awesome!

Tom Crowell submitted media.

Even by The Pulltops

Larry Lootsteen

Love the echo-y guitar.  Feels like I'm walking down the street with a friend talking.  Awesome vocals!  Beautiful harmony going on.  Change of pace at 1:30 is welcome.  This feels like storytelling.  I like the flow of the song and the buildup and crescendo just past the 2:00 mark.  Nice stadium-level guitar solo.  Not sure if there is one too many chorus repetitions in there.  Minor issue.  Great fade out to the end with the guitar in the back.  Wonderful stuff!

Tom Crowell submitted media.

Closer by The Pulltops

Larry Lootsteen

Love the guitar opening!  Really interesting vocal too!  The harmonies really work as well.  I love the feeling this song generates.  Part of what makes this interesting is the stuttered transitions.  The only bit I question is about half way through when you do a bit of a soaring guitar (around 2:00 - might be just before that).  Not sure I loved that but it's a minor complaint.  The descent into the final run t the end is really good as well.  The guitar outro is nice as well.  Great, great song!!

Michael Gross submitted media.

Everyone Is Crazy by Whisperhawk

Larry Lootsteen

Love the dark and slightly frantic open. Vocal is great but needs to be a bit more forward.  Slight drowning out at points by the music.  Need to mix up that piano run just a bit - sounds repetitive with the beginning.  Not bad but would like the variety.  Subtle changes will keep it interesting throughout.  The sense and meaning here are great.  Love the guitar run towards the end as well.  Nicely done!  Great song.  Not sure if is the type of thing to catch fire but worth a listen by anyone IMHO.

Tom Crowell submitted media.

When I Was Young by The Pulltops

Larry Lootsteen

Crashing cymbal start is great!  Great feeling overall.  The organ and the guitar work really flow with the beat.  This is different but reminiscent of old school rock.  Really great blend of genres and styles.  The vocal is strong and really fits the music.  Very well done.  Like the words, the music is both forward and looking back.  Awesome!!

Olivia Hadjiioannou submitted media.

Larry Lootsteen

The classical opening is lovely.  The music overwhelms the vocals at times, which is a shame.  Gorgeous voice!!  Musically it reminds me of Evanescence.  The overall feel is spirit and emotion.  I love the tug and pull of the quiet and loud vocals.  Really evocative!  A beautiful song full of feeling.  I would make sure the vocal remains just above the music in the quieter moments.  The ending was perfect.  Great stuff!

Cyndi Cook submitted media.

Lady Fuchsia by Cyndi CresswellCook

Larry Lootsteen

I like the mysterious opening!  Vocals are strong and there's just a touch of a South Asian flair that I like.  I'm liking the flow of this song overall.  Keeping me interested.  The organ is really working at holding the whole thing together and the crashing cymbals add to the intensity.  A rare moment where I like a long music stretch without vocals.  I think this may be my favourite thing I've heard from this band!

submitted media.

Larry Lootsteen

Love the light airy feel off the bat.  Vocals are great!  Love the voice!  That transition around the 1:40 mark really works.  Lyrics fit the music quite nicely.  The instrumental section around 3 minutes might be a bit long and could be a bit tighter.  Interesting way to end the song though.  A bit unexpected but works.  You keep waiting for the standard flourish at the end and don't get it.  That's a good thing!  Different is good.  Great job overall!

submitted media.

Status Quo by Spooky Diamonds

Larry Lootsteen

Nice, interesting open. Love the switching sounds.  Beautiful ambience in the music.  The vocal waves in and out but that works for the most part.  All these transitions really work for me.  This is really good.  I found one bit after 2:30 a bit plodding but it wasn't a drawback.  Great switch to the harder sound, driving the whole thing home.  Different but in a great way.  Impressive!

Orouni music submitted media.

Larry Lootsteen

Love the opening sequence!  Very much enjoying the vocal here.  The simplicity of the song just right.  I find the jangly guitar works really well with the vocals and drums.  They keyboards are a nice offset with that as well.  There's a deeper feeling coming off very nicely as the song plays along.  The horn is a beautiful counterpoint to the overall song and brings a welcome break within the flow of the song.
I like the second song is opened by keying off the keyboard.  Nice contrast with the first song.  I prefer the sound and sequence of the first song but this second number is quite good too.  My favourite part is the vocal when the band quiets down.  The 'marching' aspect of the song feels like something done before but has a uniqueness to it that works.  If I had to pick a lead single out of the two the first song would be my choice, for sure.  Very well done overall.  Bravo!

Evan Hooker submitted media.

Keep The Magic by Ruby Roses

Larry Lootsteen

Love the quiet opening and building.  Love the vocal.  Around the 1 minute mark the uniqueness seems to fall into a fairly standard sequence.  I like the fuzz of the guitar but it gets a bit too poppy for my liking in brief spurts.  Guitar solo around 2:20 needs a punch.  Overall I like this but it feels like it is missing something.  It seems like a mix of alt and pop but doesn't quite mesh sonically for me.  There's a lot of great stuff in here.  It may just be me but I'd rather you kept to the alt side of the sound.  I think this would work as something a bit darker.  The pop elements take away from the parts I love.  Great work even still!

Cyndi Cook submitted media.

Down In The Valley by Cyndi CresswellCook

Larry Lootsteen

Sweet opening moment. Love the noise and the punk-ish feel to the opening.  Definite rock core but seems to move in some strange directions.  I kind of lost the plot by the halfway point.  Feels a bit like trying too hard to be weird and different while mixing in several different elements that didn't feel quite right.  I like this but it feels like it's trying too hard to be something you are not.  The organ solo seemed so at odds with the rest of the song.  Just didn't quite click for me.  I could hear the lyrics better the second time through but still wasn't easy to to catch the words.  Definitely a like not love for me.

Ethan Peck submitted media.

Larry Lootsteen

Love the keyboard opening.  There's a light Celtic feel to it that I really like.  The vocal is strong as well.  The performance as a whole is tight.  The beat gives a light sense of uniqueness.  There's a quiet passion that carries the song forward.  I do have one complaint.  For all the strength of all the pieces, the song itself does not feel unique.  I felt, 'hey, this is really good'.  I did not go 'WOW this is amazing'!  And it doesn't need to be.  I just wish it was.  The reason I say that is I feel like the song is going to get into the general public's psyche.  It could, I just doubt it.  Don't get me wrong, it's really good and may get the band to new heights but may not. I think anyone who hears it will like it.  Just not sure it has the legs to get it to enough ears.  Very well done though so forgive my negativity.

Cyndi Cook submitted media.

Shoreline of the Sky by Cyndi Cresswell Cook

Larry Lootsteen

Nice Pink Floyd-ish guitar open!  Took me a minute with the vocal.  Felt like a clash with the music at first but got over it.  The music is just a bit overpowering on the vocal.  I have little clue what she is singing about.  Really need to hear and FEEL the voice.  I would love this if the vocal came on in the last power section with a wailing cry to the universe.  The music is really good but needs a slight dial back.  It's kind of a hard rocking blues song with a light blues vocal that isn't keeping up.  Definite potential here.

Cyndi Cook submitted media.

Down in the Valley by Cyndi Cresswell Cook

Larry Lootsteen

Love the opening clang.  Fuzzy guitar is really good and not overdone.  Voice is reminiscent of a 60's/70's sound and I like the way it hovers over the music.  May sound strange but I get an Iggy Pop feel from much of this.  Not sure how  feel about the organ bit.  It's a bit overdone and not sure if it should stay.  Feels a bit out of place.  Nice wind up to the song.  I wonder if you cut the music completely for the final vocal piece if that would add something.  Not sure.  Might be worth a try.  Really enjoyed this.  Can't say if it will take the world by storm but certainly a highly enjoyable tune!

Cyndi Cook submitted media.

Air Guitar MASTER 1 06292016 01 by Cyndi Cresswell Cook

Larry Lootsteen

Great opening.  Vocals are completely washed out by the music.  Like the jazzy feel a minute in.  Not sure if this is just trying make the band as strong as the singer but the effect is simply killing the vocal at times.  I like the concept of the song.  The humour of the title is being devastated by the fact that I cannot hear the lyrics throughout huge chunks of the song.  I generally like the track but the music needs to be dialed back much more or the vocal brought forward.

Cyndi Cook submitted media.

Greedy For Love by Cyndi Cresswell Cook

Larry Lootsteen

Holy crap punk opening!!  Love it!  I get the simplicity but a few things bother me a bit.  The dirty, noisy opening was exactly what I wanted but it got cleaner and more repetitive after that.  Not so sure that works.  And there a strange addition of sound just after the 90 second mark that felt out of place to me.  I think it was guitar of some sort but could have been some odd keyboard sound.  Not sure.  I love punk music and it is hard to hit all the notes to connect with the audience completely.  I like this but it could use some work.  Keep it dirty and keep making it messy across the piece.  My two cents anyway.

Cyndi Cook submitted media.

Booth 83 by Cyndi Cresswell Cook

Larry Lootsteen

Apologies for the delayed review!  That is a wonderful intro you have to the song.  Really love the voice as well.  I am a big fan of dark and this has that edge to it in spades without being too much.  The organ really adds to the overall effect.  One issue.  I could not really tell what the song was about because the vocal is too far back.  I don't mind missing bits but I found the storyline lost to the music.  I'd bring that forward a bit.  Definitely a style I like a lot.  Will that appeal to the masses?  Likely not.  But it's gritty and honest and worthy of sharing, no question.

John Mondick submitted media.

Forgotten Lights by Birds Over Arkansas

Larry Lootsteen

Beautiful opening sequence.  The vocal is very nice, almost ethereal.  The thing that makes this track stand out is the odd timing sequencing over the base tune.  It really, really works.  If I have a disagreement, and it isn't a big one, it's the vocal group run to the end of the song.  That didn't appeal as much and I thought it was a little long.  First thought that came to mind was to cut that and have a spoken (as opposed to sung) outro in place of the last couple of repetitions of the group mantra.  But really, nothing wrong with the song, just my thoughts.  Incredible job!  Well done.

Silvia Nikoletti submitted media.

Loving You (Official Video) by Celeste Buckingham

Larry Lootsteen

Okay, so here's the thing.  I complain about this a lot.  And it has nothing to do with talent.  It has to do with uniqueness.  This could be anyone's song.  You have a wonderful voice.  I love piano in music.  But this sounds like every love song.  I'm listening and nothing stands out for me.  Not in voice.  Not in music.  Beautiful lyrics but the delivery vehicle needs to stand out.  Could this be a hit?  Yes.  Do I think it will be?  Not likely.

I don't mean to sound so down.  It's a lovely song.  If I heard it on the radio I wouldn't think "Oh, that's Celeste".  I would wonder if it was this Beyoncé's "Halo" or someone else trying to mimic the idea.  I want something that surprises me.  You may not need to change a thing to make this a hit.  For me though, it needs something to make it unique.  There is so much music out there that being heard is almost impossible.  Maybe some sax and a harder drum to add power.  Maybe some electric guitar and a bit of an angry tone.  It just needs SOMETHING to stand out.

Cyndi Cook submitted media.

Zombie Wonderland by Cyndi Cresswell Cook

Larry Lootsteen

I like the opening!  Had a good giggle at the first round of 'Zombie Wonderland'!  Great that the music comes as a surprise for the style.  The drums really give this song its feel (and the driving guitar of course).  Despite the usual reptition of the chorus I love that it isn't excessive.  The only part of this that put me off a little was the more 'ghoul-ish' sounds around the 3/4 mark in the song.  Minor really.  This song is good fun and worth checking out!

Lauren Ray submitted media.

Lauren Ray by Lauren Ray

Larry Lootsteen

The beauty of this song lays into the honesty of it.  Her voice really resonates in the story being told.  While musically I don't think the song has any particular uniqueness, the voice and lyrics more than make up for it.  And for this style the voice and story need to be upfront.  I'm a big fan of piano done right.  This is really good.

Phil Barry submitted media.

Time To Ascend by Mr Fogg

Larry Lootsteen

Loved the intro!  Great vocal.  Excellent job of imbuing feeling into the song.  The military drumming added a sense of work needing to be done.  The build up was beautiful and felt inspiring.  Pretty stunning work.  Definitely something I would love to hear again and an artist I would love to hear more from!

Paul Hale submitted media.

SHE by THE LANDED

Larry Lootsteen

Loved the opening and the energy.  Great fast beat and a fun vocal.   The reason I don't 'love' this is a difficulty I have with so much music today.  It sounds like a lot of other stuff.  I'm not saying this is bad at all.  But the market is flooded with music that seems formulaic.  I really enjoyed the break about 2/3 through.  I would like more of that.
That driving guitar at a fast clip does great live I bet.  From a listening perspective it just needs something.  Maybe slow the opening (maybe a fuzzy speaking intro?) and then launch in instead of right away.  And maybe add another break earlier in the song to give some variety because you go a long time into the song with that one driving sound.
I do really like this.  There's a ton of potential in here.  Just needs something to make it stand out from everything else.

Peter Anderson submitted media.

Larry Lootsteen

I love the opening.  Fantastic vocal as well.  I like the fact that you mix in some noise to break up the mainline of the song.  It would be very dull musically if you didn't do that.  If I have a complaint it's that there is a bit of a drone quality to the song.  You do that step up in the chorus that you thankfully build into more later in the song.  I really love the sound and vocals.  You've taken it to a better level than the core of the song would have.  Well done!

yochay mocsari submitted media.

Larry Lootsteen

Great opening!  Dark and intriguing vocals.  I find the droning keyboard segment near the beginning a little off-putting but nothing major.  Favourite bits around the 3:27 mark.  The one thing that makes me not love this song is the endless repetition of "If you only knew" which takes up half the song.  I'm fine with repeating  moments but this takes too much of the song.  Makes me lose interest.  A second section earlier in the song that uses the same structure from 3:27 might add a little drama upfront and break up the drone of "If I only knew".  I really like this a lot.  I think a few tweaks will make it great!  Definitely on the right track here.

Bill Greenwood submitted media.

Of an Extrovert by The Paper Jets

Larry Lootsteen

Nice guitar intro.  Love the audio effects on the singing.  In the quieter section heading into the closing section of the song, I think it needs something, either less drum and a cleaner guitar or a different drum section, perhaps alone - just found too much cymbal there.  The song comes across as part punk, part rock which is great.  Love it!

Gregory Robinson submitted media.

July 5th (Remastered) by Allora Mis

Larry Lootsteen

I am a big fan of this style of music.  And this has a nice mix of both ambient and noise.  This track in particular has that crucial quiet build that never really stops..  The music is uplifting.  Something that can take a mediocre mood and transform you.  There's peaks followed by more peaks and then more peaks.  Love it!!  If I had to compare, I'd say it falls in line with some of the best of Daniel Lanois.  I could listen to this all day!

John Mondick submitted media.

The String by Birds Over Arkansas

Larry Lootsteen

It's nice to find a song hard to peg to a 'type'  A bit folk.  Some alternative.  Some country.  Some pop.  I like that!

Interesting the pre- and chorus didn't work for me as much.  I loved the noise and clatter bits through the beginning.  I wish that had carried forward throughout.  After the first third of the song I felt like it sounded more standard, common and would not stand out against the reams of music fighting for ears.

Vocals are really good.  He has a good sound though some experimentation might help with uniqueness factor every artist needs.  Personally, I don't enjoy the endless repetition to take a song out.  By the third listen I started to really notice and it is off-putting.

There has to be a balance between the real 'who you are' and what an audience will stop an listen to.  This is a song that will grab someone but not sure it will hold them.  That said, I really liked it.  It has a lot of great qualities.  I think there's some need to play with sound.  Orchestration sounds great but lots of bands do that.  Maybe mix in some more noise elements to add a few more break points.  And take the story being told farther down the song and minimize the repetition at the end.

This really is excellent stuff and I do want to hear more from this band.

John Mondick submitted media.

Catapult by Birds Over Arkansas

Larry Lootsteen

Great mix of 70's rock and modern alternative!   There's a fantastic driving beat that really grabs you.  Definitely enjoyed the singers voice.  Reminds me of David Usher from Moist at times.  The only part I didn't enjoy was the opening.  I got that build into the song but it came across as a bit messy and confused to me and put me off at first.  Still loved the song.  There's different emotions coming across as the speed changes between the drift and drive segments.  Well worth the listen!

Paul Hale submitted media.

Larry Lootsteen

I really enjoyed this track.  This style of folk/country is easy to listen to and the type of thing that's great to relax to or with friends having a few drinks and talking.  The music was very good but not terribly unique but that's okay.  I found the orchestral sound heading out the back end of the song beautiful.  The vocals were strong and I particularly enjoyed the harmonies.  Storytelling is an art and I like the story in this song.  Definitely worthy of airplay.

And the video is just sweet!  Well done!

yochay mocsari submitted media.

Last Night by Claus Zinger

Larry Lootsteen

Great opening!  Huge fan of music with a tinge of darkness.  You nailed that!  Around the 1:25 mark I just felt like it got lost in some small way.  The vocal seemed out of time but not in a good way.  It's a minor issue overall.  The orchestral backdrop.  The build to the end is a tad long for me.  The fade at the end was unexpected but not a bad thing.  Really love it and with a couple of tweaks I think it could great!