Samantha Crain - You Had Me At Goodbye

After two excellent Americana flecked albums, 2014's plugged in Kid Face and 2015's stripped back Under Branch & Tree & Thorn, Samantha Crain seemed to be going places. After her previous releases had gone somewhat under the radar that double header under the Full Tim Hobby label suggested bigger things to come. Strange then that You Had Me At Goodbye is a bit of a left hand turn.

It picks up the pace from the thoughtful and spacious Under Branch... and adds new kinds of sounds, 'Oh Dear Louis' has something close to a dance beat propelling it onward. 'Wise One' has something of the oddness of the current breed of Welsh act, along the lines of Sweet Baboo. The odd track, like the string laden 'Loneliest Handsome Man' are more like the old stuff, but lacking something of the beauty, while 'Red Sky, Blue Mountain', written and sung in Crain's native Choctaw, fares much better. Following it with the electronic feedback of 'Smile When' is a bit jarring. It's an interesting selection of songs but there's something of a lack of cohesion through the ten tracks which is to its detriment.

Verdict

Interesting mix of sounds and styles but not cohesive enough.
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