Two Sides to Every Story
By David Chiu
British pop star James Blunt maybe the king of sensitive guy music these days, but LeRoy Bell is poised to be his serious competition for that crown. Brimming with delicate, acoustic-infected arrangements and winsome pop sensibilities (not surprisingly since his uncle is the legendary producer/songwriter Thom Bell), Bell’s Two Sides to Every Story is an album that is heartfelt and not overly maudlin. One can hear that sincerity right from Bell’s earthy and soulful voice on material that is mainly about relationships (“Still Not Over You,” “He Can’t Hold Her,” “20 Years From Now”), and offers insightful and yet hopeful commentary about society (“21st Century Man,” the ethereal “Dream of Peace”). Through his music, Bell sometimes makes it difficult for even the most detached listener not to feel something: that’s the mark of a successful artist.