Monday, March 21, 2011
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: THE WAILIN' JENNYS - BRIGHT MORNING STARS
We know they can sing. That's the whole point. It's the vocal blend, the harmonies, the mood. But sometimes I think they should be called the Whisperin' Jennys because they never do really wail. The group's first studio disc since 2006 sees the trio fail to rise above a slow boil. This can't really be considered a criticism, it's more a suggestion that they mix it up a bit, since what they do is top notch and perfect. It's just I'd like to hear them take it out of second gear and show us what's under the hood.
This is the first studio album with Heather Masse as a member, and she does add a mellow, lower voice to the proceedings, and the closest numbers to actual bluegrass. But again, it's so pure and earnest, it's hard to get worked up and excited. Even Ruth Moody's Storm Comin', which should be a big, raunchy gospel number, just saunters along. The number is subservient to the harmonies, and although there's a nasty guitar back there, and the chance to wake us all up, the storm is just a breeze.
Having now griped about the same point five different ways, I will again admit the Jennys have the best voices and harmonies around, and if you like your folk-slash-bluegrass slow and steady and pure, this is the stuff. Some people display passion in different ways.