Rebecca Turner

Slowpokes

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"Brooklyn is so big because it has to hold a lot of very sad songs" sings Rebecca Turner on "(Brooklyn Is) So Big," but simply taking either side of this statement at face value may ultimately misinform you about singer/songwriter Turner's second album, Slowpokes. Yes, Turner makes her home in the Northeast these days, and Slowpokes' tracks speak with the wisdom of one who knows New York's ins and outs, but she's originally an L.A. girl, and that latter fact is crucial to understanding her sound. Turner traffics in a gentle Americana style that feels like an amalgam of the late-‘60s/early-‘70s Laurel Canyon country-rock troubadour universe and the kind of jangly power pop flowing out of L.A. about a decade after that. This is, after all, a woman who once wrote a poem for her school paper about getting perspired on by Plimsouls frontman Peter Case. And while Turner's winsome, honeyed croon -- which seems to have soaked up its share of country influences -- seems so tailor-made for lovesick laments that it might lead the lazy ear to assess this album as a bittersweet offering, that's not quite the case either. Turner's lyrics deal in subtle emotional shadings that mix the moody and the hopeful in balanced doses, rolling them around together until they reveal some simple but striking truths about everyday living. Slowpokes rarely gets bogged too far down in the psychological depths; even on the poignant folk-pop nugget "Nobody Understands It," when Turner sings "Today's only partly cloudy, and that's unsettling to see," it turns out she's really talking about moving through gloomy weather to "get through to the other side."

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