Lilypoint – I Saw You

I Saw You

Not to be mean, but … make it stop. Please. I guess I just can’t get into “character” for this one.
I’ll start with the basics here. Lilypoint is Jeffrey Touzeau, who wrote/recorded/produced/engineered all of I Saw You in his home studio. The disc is the result of a spiritual awakening and rebirth that Touzeau went through after witnessing the birth of his daugher, Caroline. It ends up being quite the family affair, as Touzeau’s wife, Kim, duets with him on the title track and “Autumn Morning,” while his 8-month-old daughter’s ‘coos’ turn up on the acoustic ‘baby mix’ of the album’s catchiest tune, “Oatmeal in my Eye.”
Production-wise, the album is smooth. Although the arrangements are fairly simple, the mix is always clear and uncluttered – especially for Touzeau’s layered, spot-on Beach Boys-esque backing vocals. Touzeau’s also a decent enough musician, playing guitar, bass, and drums on this release with no noticeable inadequacies. The songwriting, however … well, perhaps that’s the weak point of the disc.
Now, I guess I’m prepared to explain the “character” bit. I’m all for love songs and puppy dogs and the like, because everyone knows that love (and lack thereof) is the centerpoint of at least half of the world’s best music. But for some reason, this album strikes me as cute to the point of annoying. I mean, I’m not dissing this guy for being in love with his daughter or his wife. As a matter of fact, I think more fathers should profess their family love as vocally as Touzeau does. However, as a 23-year-old who spends his days watching “Purple Rain” on DVD and trying to find old comic book issues of “The Maxx” on E-Bay, I just find it hard to relate to the topics here.
Every listen of this disc seemed to grate a little deeper into my nerves until I realized I was on my last one. The album’s opening track, “Oatmeal in my Eye,” sounds like an unpublished soundtrack to that annoying Elephant Show on Nickelodeon. The far-too-boppy “Henry the Hippo” reads off like a Prozac-era “Rocky Raccoon,” with the only difference being that the Beatles credibly pulled off the Raccoon bit. “Just Think of a Picture” is a strange attempt at blending Casio beats with acoustic rhythms that succeeds by sounding not necessarily shoddy, but more out of place compared to the rest of the material here.
I shouldn’t knock Touzeau so badly. I mean, I Saw You just isn’t something I’m interested in. It has nothing to do with him or his musicianship – I’m just not a big fan of children’s music. I do admire Touzeau’s frankness in his songwriting, but I can’t lie and say that I like the way that I Saw You sounds.
Now, all truths be told, I’ll probably keep this disc around for a few years. When I have my first child, I’ll drag this disc out of the closet and happily watch my kid mindlessly bop along to the happy sounds – and it’ll probably even make me smile. Until then, though, I think I prefer to keep I Saw You out of sight and out of earshot.