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Rebecca Pronsky

Only Daughter

(Nine Mile; US: 19 Mar 2013; UK: 18 Mar 2013)

Big step forward for Brooklyn singer-songwriter

Rebecca Pronsky’s 2011 album Viewfinder was a so-so affair. I expressed the hope that the singer-songwriter would take the time to “work up a full album’s worth of compelling material before taking to the studio again.” The good news is that this latest album is a whole lot better. It’s not quite a home run, but it’s a far more satisfying—and complete—effort than the last time around.


Opener “Rise Up” gets things started with a bang, all layered guitar and urgent vocals, and is capably followed up with tunes such as “The Garden”, “Big Demands” and a cover version of Sun Kil Moon’s haunting “Glenn Tipton”. At its best, Pronsky’s voice contains an edge that is well suited to such musically dense, muscular arrangements. Elsewhere, the lethargic “Come Down” is a touch thin, musically speaking—sort of Neko Case-lite—while lighthearted album closer “Please Forget Me” is the weakest track in the set. Overall, then, the record remains a bit inconsistent, but is nevertheless strong overall and a sizeable improvement over its predecessor. Rise up, indeed.

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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15 Jun 2011
Pronsky's better songs are undermined by sloppy vocals and plenty of filler.
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