An appropriately early Seventies looking album sleeve with suitably corny font and an out of focus photo of the author. The record itself? Creamy Laurel Canyon. Honeyed vocals, silky piano and gently strummed acoustic guitar. What a rad idea. Though hardly unprecedented. But in the case of Lia Ices' Family Album it certainly works.
Mainly because the songs are great. That's what this kind of conceit really stands or falls on isn't it. Every track here is rather gorgeous in its own way and the record itself is a dream, locating a sweet spot somewhere between Karen, (Carpenter) and Joni. With a bit of Enya and a bit of Kate thrown in for good measure.
Grounded in autobiographial specifics, it's a record that flushes with abundant good will. Ices' move to California with her winemaking husband and her impending motherhood. It would be churlish to scoff at such fundamental instincts and emotions and anyway the record is more than good enough to stand its own ground.
These kind of nostalgic pipe dreams are ten a penny these days. In order to succeed they require artistic investment and that's here in spades. Altogether a rather lovely record.