Band/Artist: Gowan
Title of Album: Home Field
Record Label/distributor: Panoramic Music/Cargo Music
Issue 7 of Powerplay Magazine UK
A Review by Aron Radford, July 13/98

Did you know Celine Dion had 5 top selling albums in Canada before one single person in the States had even heard of her? Then she got her big break and was included on Disney's 'Beauty and the beast' soundtrack, and bang! all of a sudden people were saying "have you heard this fantastic new singer called Celine Dion?" The point I'm trying to make is that people's talent doesn't just change over night, it's people's awareness of such talent that changes. Well Gowan is a prime example of undiscovered talent if ever there was. This guy has sold 1.5 million records in Canada, had 5 gold and 4 platinum selling albums, 4 number one singles and is generally a house hold name, and have you ever heard of him? I guessed not, well let me enlighten you.

Born in Scotland and raised in Canada, Gowan began classical piano studies at the tender age of 10 at the Royal conservatory of music in Toronto. Graduating with top honors Gowan gave up a potentially successful career as a classical pianist to concentrate on writing and playing his own music. Until now Gowan has done the exact opposite of what every other Canadian act has, i.e. he's concentrated on his home patch and not felt the need to try his hand at global domination, a decision that has until now satisfied both his personal and artistical needs. Well now he feels the time is right to come home as it were to his birthplace and exorcise those burning urges within, the hunger has returned. 'Home Field' is only available in the UK and basically represents a kind of best of his Canadian back catalogue, which includes 15 amazingly passionate, intermit and emotive songs, clocking in at nearly 70 minutes. Musically it treads the same singer song writer path that other piano luminaries have trod, such as Elton John, Billy Joel, Marc Cohn, with touches of Tori Amos, John Lennon, Rod Stewart, and Chris DeBurge at times, but make no mistake this is not pop! Obviously strongly piano based there is however a lot of slide and acoustic guitar to be heard throughout, giving the whole album a very cool and pleasant West Coast/Mid West/New Country vibe.

The tracks have no doubt been picked to make for a balanced album, but I must say it's when Larry goes into full hands on mode that his music really comes to life. Tracks like his trade mark song 'A criminals mind', and the Rod Stewart sounding 'Wild summers night'. Then there's the Chris Reaish 'Soul's road', the animated 'Make it alone' and the excellent 'Guns and god' with it's wonderful catchy chorus and bag pipe finally. That's not to say he can't croon with the best of them. Just have a listen to the wonderful 'Innocent' and the Springsteenish 'The good catches up' and the moving tribute song to Princess Diana 'Healing waters' complete with full orchestra. Just a few high lights from an album that just hasn't any lows. So why not find out for your self what 1.5 million Canadians have already, the wonderful world of Gowan.

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