Chicago soul and jazz singer-songwriter Logan Metz has just released an 11-track album titled The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.. While Metz takes care of the vocals, the piano, and the acoustic guitar, he got help from a host of musicians for other instruments such as drums (Hiroo Nakano), tenor saxophone (Kyle O’Donnell), cello (April Guthrie), and violins (Adrianne Pope and Mona Tian).
This album is a beautifully, composed emotion-laden experience well worth a listen. The tracks could be loosely categorised in four groups. The jazz tracks contain all the typical jazz trimmings one would expect. “Interesting People” features fun vocals that make you wonder if Metz is chewing something around while singing. You can easily tell that the musicians are having a lot of fun on this dynamic, energetic track. The piano seems very tongue-in-cheek in the way it adds a few notes in between some of the verses. One might well look forward to seeing this one performed live. While just as jazzy, the much slower “An Evening at The Cove” takes a slow and sultry turn.
Other numbers are folk- and country-flavoured, including the title track. “The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.” is an uptempo and toe-tapping offering with slick vocals that slip in and around the instrumentation. It is a delight to listen to and another song one can anticipate seeing performed live. The folky “Augustine” is a rhythmic mid-tempo contribution that features sweet and almost innocent lovelorn singing.
A couple of songs are built only on vocals, piano, and violins. Where “Surrender” is slow, intense, and dramatic, the mid-tempo “Jericho” is adorable thanks to “cute” violins that jump and skip almost merrily over the melody and the intense vocals. Keep your ears pealed for a great piano solo.
Metz also wrote a couple of slow and languorous tracks. While “Almost (All Mine)” is perfect for a relaxed evening at home or in a chill lounge, the emotional, intense, and very heartfelt “I Must Be Found” is a beautiful number with which to reflect on love. “I Got a Woman” is even more intense and quite heavy at times, with Metz again pouring his emotions into his singing.
It comes as a surprise that “The Rabbits” is so languorous; with such a title, one would expect either a fun, hopping track (pun totally intended), a tongue-in-cheek one, or even a sweet, childish one. Instead, listeners are taken on yet another emotional journey.