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Annie and the Beekeepers

My Bonneville

(Self-released; US: 28 Aug 2012; UK: Import)

Two great songs, plus eight others

Annie and the Beekeepers lead with their best tune on this, their third album, which isn’t a bad strategy, but it does backfire a bit. “Wake Up Mama” is by far the strongest and moodiest song on My Bonneville, so inevitably the rest of the album sags. Annie Lynch’s breathy vocals, reminiscent of Neko Case, are uniquely well suited to the slow-burn opener. Elsewhere, the title track “My Bonneville” is just a throwaway bit of forgettable whimsy, while the coffee-house strumming of “An Island” and “A Light at the End” lack oomph. In fact, much of the record lacks oomph. Not until late in the back half of the album does “In the Water” come close to replicating the haunting power of “Wake Up Mama”. But by then it’s too little too late. A pair of great songs is enough to suggest promise for a band, but it’s not enough to build an album around.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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