Jenny Owen Youngs: Batten the Hatches

[22 April 2007]

By Jason MacNeil

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”.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/jenny-owen-youngs-batten-the-hatches/