Penelope Houston: Once in a Blue Moon

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By Rebecca Brown

Once in a Blue Moon is Penelope Houston’s 11th album. It’s a folkie sounding album by the former lead singer of the revolutionary 1970’s punk band, The Avengers. Penelope’s solo album sounds nothing like The Avengers, however. Which might be appealing to some, disappointing to others.

Houston’s style has developed into a more mature sounding folk rock, a sound which would most likely be heard at Lilith Fair. Although her acoustic work has been compared to greats such as Nick Drake, I find that her work falls a bit short of that achievement. Her critically-acclaimed 1993 The Whole World originally centered her into the “neo-folk” genre. Neo-folk is an appropriate description for her new venture as well. The songs are all quite similar in style and tone, leaving the listener without much to hold on to. Unlike The Avengers’ songs which had the power to define the sound of the early years of punk, Once in a Blue Moon lacks in originality and inovation.

Houston’s album is not a terrible album, it’s just not particularly interesting, which is hard to stomach considering her impressive historical track record. However, it is a mature, mildly catchy folk rock album that I’m sure would interest many.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/houstonpenelope-once/