Every once in a while an artist and a record comes along that you need to revisit. Which is why I am throwing it back on Thursdays for records released a ways back, but that still deserve some love. Annie Lynch is the real deal. In a growing world of gals with guitars, she stands out far above the rest. Her voice is effortless but yet seems to put most other singers to shame. The songs are crafted in a manner that is purposeful and dynamic. The words are great, the playing is wonderful, and the delivery is amazing. I do have to admit, as a fan of Lynch’s music for quite some time, a new line up and sound scared me a bit, but alas, I had nothing to fear…
Bonneville is a bit more rock n’ roll and a bit less sad folk than previous efforts, however, it undeniably still has the charm and beauty that Lynch infuses into all of her music. That’s not to say that this is a rock n’ roll album, but it certainly has a bit of a heavier feel on the instrument end with electric guitars and throbbing drums on a few tracks. There is, however, a fine balance of softer, stripped down tunes such as “An Island” with those more rockier jams like the title track. The record is filled with rich vocal harmonies, like double chocolate fudge brownie rich…now that’s real rich…and just the right nuance of instrumental parts. Everything has a place and was very carefully put there to create a sonic experience that is deep, evocative, and gorgeous.
Its damn near impossible to pick favorites from this record (without picking the whole thing), but if I had to, I would choose the banjo propelled “Wake Up Mama” and the haunting and distant (yet hopeful) “Light at the End”.
“Wake Up Mama” starts off a bit slow with Annie’s slow vocal and a plucked banjo and before long launches into a full force of vocal harmonies-especially during that chorus line. It’s fun with a nice full melody and beat, yet eery and mysterious in its own way.
“Light at the End” harkens back to that “sad folk” side of the band…a side that made me fall in love with their music to begin with. It is a bit more of an atmospheric feel to it. Very light and almost trance like. The song itself tears my heart out, but gently, and then carefully places it back in its cavity by the end of the song. True enchanting and beautiful art.
I have been trying to be a bit more constructive in these reviews lately, and this is a STRETCH for me to find any sort of non-positive feedback for the group. The closing track “Come On” has a video version done with the previous line-up that I find to be overwhelmingly breathtaking. While the video and production is wonderful, even listening without watching the video is quite overpowering. The record version is great, don’t get me wrong, but I needed to make note of the video in this review as well. I may just be a sucker for the live, stripped down thing, but it’s pretty incredible. Check it out: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thebeekeepers/for-the-love-of-music-annie-and-the-beekeepers-do
(the only place I still see it up is on their old kickstarter page…lucky for you its still there!)
Be sure to put this one on the list of “must listens” and check Annie and the Beekeepers when they buzz through the Bean. They make it up to Boston every couple months, so check on their webpage for dates and give them a listen!