Kristian Leontiou - Some Day Soon
For the review that accompanied the release of the lead single from this album, it was probably obvious that we didn't have a whole lot of information on Kristian Leontiou. Come the release of the album, we're pretty sure that Leontiou is a 21-year-old singer/songwriter from London who's been gigging and recording in the UK, which led to a bunch of demos taped at a friend's flat before a call from Polydor sealed a record deal and, with it, the release of Some Day Soon.
Well, there is all of that...but he still sounds like David Gray, more so as the album gets past its opening track and onto Shining. What Gray will be responsible for, alongside Dido and Beth Orton and more than any other part of his legacy, is a sparse dance influence behind his folk. Although songs like Babylon and Please Forgive Me were recorded with beats that fluttered behind Gray's impassioned vocals, there was the feeling that both would have worked equally well had he only been accompanied by piano or guitar as was proved on White Ladder's best song, the beautiful This Year's Love.
After Story Of My Life, which is a strong but largely uninspired first track, Shining opens with subdued bursts of radio noise and a dance rhythm before the chorus comes in with a series of warm chords played on piano. By track four, with two variations of his sound in place, the slow, reflective Love Is All I Need gives Some Day Soon some space and introduces the third and proves that with Leontiou's distinctive voice - husky but not as worn by smoke and whiskey as that of an older singer/songwriter - the album needs a greater dynamic to really work.
Unfortunately, Leontiou never goes as far as he should with this, never getting to grips with songs that drift into pure pop nor those that slow to be heard as so fragile as to almost fall apart. As the album ends, Some Day Soon feels as though it ought to drift away and although Sometimes I Wonder is a suitably slow song, it doesn't seem quite delicate enough.
Some Day Soon is still a good album but is one that sounds as though it would drift by rather than be loved. Instead, it's possible to highlight small flaws on the record but without ever feeling that strongly about it. Leontiou is a good singer but his songs are better and deserve more passion than Leontiou manages, which is a shame but there is still more than enough here to give him a successful debut, allowing Leontiou to play with his sound more than he has here but with a good debut with which to go forward from.