Catie Curtis

Sweet Life

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Singer/songwriter Catie Curtis is one of those rare talents: someone who can spin compelling, interesting, and engaging music out of domestic happiness. The title of this disc tells the whole story: fully settled in with her partner and two kids, she looks back on earlier heartbreaks, the joys of growing up in a rural town, coming-of-age anxieties, and the difficulties of the modern world, and sums up her feelings in the chorus of the title track: "It led me here to this/Sweet life beside you." She describes the sound she was working toward on this album as "big, warm, [and] friendly," and that's as good a characterization as any: her folkie roots are fully audible, but what this album really delivers is well-produced and fully realized roots pop, on which her sweet but unassuming vocals are buttressed by chiming acoustic and electric guitars, understated drums, and Hammond organ. The album's tone and quality are both remarkably consistent, but the title track and the gently rollicking "What You Can't Believe" are both highlights, while the Tin Pan Alley-ish "Lovely" jars just a little bit. Also noteworthy is her restrained but quietly intense rendition of Death Cab for Cutie's "Soul Meets Body." Highly recommended.

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