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Leeroy Stagger (vocals, acoustic and electric guitar) was raised in Victoria British Columbia, and has by all accounts earned himself a respectable following this side of the pond. For one, he hasn’t been shy on coming over to the UK and with him opening with a song that’s direct, and joyful he starts the record away in a positive fashion before he becomes more serious as he tries to make sense of it all via the title-cut “Love Versus”. With him well and truly hitting his stride “Enemy Inside” hits plumb centre. Love Versus is the Canadian singer-songwriter’s 11th album, and with his love of contemporary sounds as pop, rock and Americana roots music primed by a set of players (Tyson Maiko, Pete Thomas, Paul Rigby, Geoff Hillhorst, Matthew Robinson and guests) who really stir the pot don't be surprised to see this album gain a great deal of attention.
One of the most impressive and biggest attractions to the album is the manner Stagger follows his heart, and with a lot of things to say it is like he can’t wait to get his music to the listener. It’s the energy of the playing and his desire to go out on a limb, musically. Not hold back as he considers genres but let ‘er rip. “Little Brother” is a perfect example of this as he edges, tastily, into the outer regions of r&b and soul, and with him speaking in terms that he’s available to give support I suspect the song is especially close to his heart. In some ways Stagger reminds me of Belfast’s much missed, genial singer-songwriter Bap Kennedy, in the style he leans on blue-collar themes and likes to tell it as it is. “Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone” as you would expect races along at speed, and with Stagger speaking of how the world is struggling to cope with a population that contrasts greatly between the tragically poor, and the elite who get to eat near all the meat.
His opener “I Want it All” is him airing his views of how we should live, and how there needs is be more freedom and people are not to played for fools. As for the people he speaks of how they should let us show our love for one another, face to face and not just on the phone! Quick footed, though sad there's little piece “$1,500 A Day (Song For Elliott)”, before he moves, effortlessly into “Until The End Of Time”. Here he speaks of his wife and babies and him leaving them alone. I take he means when he is away on tour.
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