Lucy Spraggan

Join the Club

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The first studio album from the enigmatic former X Factor contestant who won over the judges (and the audience) with her own composition, the infectious reggae-folk drinking anthem "Beer Fear," Join the Club finds the urban troubadour spinning her tales of family ("Tea and Toast"), cross-continental relationships ("In a State"), and youth ("Paper Dreams") against a backdrop of folk, hip-hop, and pop that falls somewhere between the winking club nihilism of Lily Allen and the blue-collar acoustic punk of Frank Turner. Slicker and more radio friendly than some might have hoped, Spraggan's penchant for clever wordplay and knack for engaging melodies manages, for the most part, to hold its own amidst all of the major label-induced fireworks, but cuts like "You're too Young," despite its weighty, anti-violence message, and her meal-ticket song "Last Night (Beer Fear)," are rendered confectionary by the overly precise, single-driven production. Spraggan is at her most endearing when she stays true to the convivial, foot-stomping, Mumford/Indigo Girls street folk that made her X Factor appearances such a breath of fresh air, and standout cuts like "Someone," Mountains," and "Lighthouse" capture that feisty yet big-hearted warmth with great aplomb.

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