Album: Put Your Needle Down
Artist: The Secret Sisters
Details: 12 songs; 44 minutes
Who’s Choice: Gone Mild
This may be the meanest thing that I have ever said about an artist. The Secret Sisters are a band that I could imagine happening upon as a live performance and enjoying it. However, at the end of the night, when Dan asks if we should buy their album, I would say, “nah.”
That being said, it ended up that both Dan and I bought copies of this week’s listen. You win that round, Secret Sisters!
I will begin by saying that there is nothing in particular that makes me want to complain about this album. The sister duo, Laura and Lydia Rogers have strong musical roots in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. They have T-Bone Burnett producing them. They perform an interesting variety of musical styles and they do all of it well. Luka is a ballad that sounds like a southern gothic family tale that Bobby Gentry would send up. Dirty Lie reminded me of Shirley Bassey singing “The minute you walked in the joint” (interestingly, this was a song that Bob Dylan started writing many years ago, and gave to the sisters to complete and perform). Pocket Knife gave me vibes of Dolly Parton singing for independence. Black and Blue is Everly Brothers pitched up. There is even a song that made me think of Tori Amos. Perhaps that is the problem for me. It is kind of all over the place without giving me a good dose of what they are. To me they are two singers who really sound good together. I don’t mind listening to them, but after this week, I won’t make a point of returning to them.
The album does sound nice. The arrangements have good instrumentation with some nice guitar picking and violins. This is not lost to me. It just doesn’t stick with me. In that we have had this album of the week going for multiple weeks, I have listened to it a fair number of times. Even with that, I don’t have songs stuck in my head. That is not like me.
Over at Gone Mild, Dan writes about his own inability to connect with this album. The fact that he is a little shocked that I didn’t fall under its charms adds to how confusing this album is for me.
I worry when I don’t give female artists a good review that I am doing my sex a disservice. Reading up on this duo, it is apparent that I need not be concerned. They get a good amount of love from many quarters. Even so, I need to make myself feel better about my music championing. I need a next album pick that I can be confident that I can feel better about reviewing. Don’t do me wrong, Jenny Lewis.
Next Up: Voyager by Jenny Lewis