Restoration Hardware ……………
Wow! A debut album that will set the tongues wagging in Music Town.
I first saw Rebecca and Megan Lovell, aka Larkin Poe, three or four years ago as a support act in the upstairs room of a small pub and even though I saw them three times last year with Rebecca playing an electric guitar nothing has prepared me for this album; absolutely nothing.
During the opening 30 seconds of Jailbreak I had to pick up the album sleeve to confirm this was Larkin Poe; and it most definitely is; but the tight rock sound and cool guitar breaks ain't nothing like any of their previous EPs… “We're not in Kansas anymore Toto! ” Once I'd got over my initial shock; Jailbreakand what follows is a perfect example of alt. Country or what we used to call adult oriented rock soft-rock and it's certainly radio friendly.
Mercifully, producers Chris Seefried and Damien Lewis have not only kept the Lovell's trademark harmonies to the fore but actually made them a feature and in doing so makes Larkin Poe sound completely different from absolutely everyone else in the marketplace today.
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On Stubborn Love the harmonies are exceptional and the sexy lead voice will have men going weak at the knees the world over.
My favourite track is Sugar High which has echoes of Mellissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow at their very best but the guitar playing is pure Tom Petty meets Vince Gill. The love song Jesse is actually quite staggering in its swamp rock simplicity and mantra like chorus; this is the song Stevie Nicks has been searching for 20 years for!
From start to finish my head was nodding in time to the rocking beat and when playing the album in the car had to keep checking the speedo because my right foot was tapping so hard on the accelerator. Eventually the album comes to an end with Rebecca playing the piano on the heartachingly beautiful Overachiever which gave me a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye as her expressively smoky voice tells a starkly personal tale.
KIN is being announced as Larkin Poe's debut album; which it is in many ways as it is a completely new direction for what was originally a folk based duo who have released eight EPs (with seven or eight tracks on each! ); but this album is the first day of the rest of their very successful lives. Alan Harrison.