[29 July 2013]
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.