Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Misner & Smith

Seven Hour Storm

(Scribble on the Wall; US: 15 Oct 2013; UK: 15 Oct 2013)

Beautiful Harmonies in Search of Better Songs

The angle Misner & Smith put forward is this: they can conjure some damn fine harmonies. True, this folksy duo has a bit more to be proud of than just that, but the main selling point is certainly their balanced harmonizing. The value of those talents is made clear whenever one of them strikes out on a solo vocal, as Misner does on “Lost & Found”, which sounds only so-so at first, but then takes off once his voice is joined by Smith’s aching harmony. Gender differences aside, Simon & Garfunkel comparisons are in order.


Musically, the duo has all the right ingredients, with their inclination towards ‘60s folksiness and clean, subtle harmony, but the songwriting gives them more than a little trouble. The bet placed here on Misner’s songwriting doesn’t quite pay off; the lyrics are clunky and ineffective, buckling under the attention we’re forced to pay to them, especially when it comes to delicate subjects like the home-front war story “15 Months”. Bright spots include “Tamalpais”, an ode to the Marin County peak, and the jazzy shuffle “Calling”.

Rating:

Taylor Coe currently works in academic publishing and spends most of his free time trolling the Internet for music and film reviews, along with digesting unhealthy amounts of television. He has an affinity for Townes Van Zandt and other like-minded Texan singer-songwriters, not to mention a borderline-worrisome obsession with the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit. In the ninth grade, his most-played song of all time may or may not have been "Rich Girl" by Hall & Oates. Years later, he finds this somewhat embarrassing - which is not unlike his feelings for lots of other things about ninth grade.


Media
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
PopMatters' LUCY Giveaway! in PopMatters's Hangs on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.