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Jenny Owen Youngs

Batten the Hatches

(Nettwerk; US: 10 Apr 2007; UK: Available as import)

Review [5.Jul.2007]

Jenny Owen Youngs has a different musical take on things, and it’s a very refreshing one. Although at times you might want to pass her a bar of soap for saying some words, Youngs makes the most of the record. Bringing to mind a cross between KT Tunstall and Feist, Youngs shines on the leadoff “Porchrail”, and the pretty but rambling “From Here”, which has a touch of Alanis in it. Even when she slows the mood down for the tender waltz-ish “F**k Was I”, the album moves to another level with the lyrics and music melding perfectly. Thoughtful and not a cookie-cutter album, Youngs nails the gorgeous “Lightning Rod” and equally stellar “Voice on Tape”, slowing the album down, but not diminishing the overall quality. Perhaps the highlight though is “Bricks”, a tune that has orchestral leanings, but stays the course thanks to Youngs’ warm folksy delivery. And while there is a touch of blues on the song, the singer explores this far better with a gorgeous and barren “Woodcut”, quickly drawing everyone into her world. The same can be said for the rambling alt.country swagger she displays on “Coyote”.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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10 May 2012
Youngs's darkly beautiful singing voice carries the day on her most energetic and accessible collection of songs yet.
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Jenny Owen Youngs loves the Beach Boys and Bach and can play flip cup like a pro.
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Originally released in 2005, Youngs' folkish debut exudes clever and riotous potential, but never quite lifts off.
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