The lo-fi nature of "Be in L.A.," the opening track on Let's Not and Say We Did, detracts from what is an otherwise good acoustic rock song. This is an ongoing theme on Let's Not and Say We Did, the second release by the acoustic folk-rock duo the Red. While there are hints of good stuff happening on the songs, they are often buried beneath flaws, such as the aforementioned "demo" sound and a general tendency by the duo to go overboard. For example, the songs are repetitious -- choruses and various parts seem to excessively return and repeat throughout the arrangements. Instrument jams run on a bit too long, as well, and the songs are a bit all over the place. You can definitely see where the Red are going -- poetic storytellers of the human experience using intellectual and clever wordplay in their lyrics to paint their pictures. They, to a small degree, sound like an up-and-coming Counting Crows. Two shining moments on the album are "The New York City Snowflake Song" and "Revisited." The first is an affecting acoustic ballad that scores a home run with its vocals, which are as warm and delicate as the gentle acoustic guitar plucking behind them. "Revisited" is along the same line, but falls into the band's pitfall of straying too far and away; had the Red chopped off about two minutes from "Revisited" and eliminated the psychedelic tangent the song goes off on toward the end, this song would have been choice. That shortcoming notwithstanding, these two tracks show the the Red's greatest potential. The Red are definitely unique and show signs of talent, but they need to tighten up their songs and achieve more musical direction. Polished arrangements and less abstract musical changes jammed into one song (diversity is one thing, but incompatible, excessive, and poorly placed parts are a different story) would do the Red a world of good. A seasoned producer would help to bring out the best in the Red, which is, to be sure, in there.
Let's Not and Say We Did Review
by Liana Jonas