The Carrots

New Romance

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

After releasing two excellent singles in 2008 that were indie pop takes on the classic girl group sound of the '60s, the Carrots vanished from view. Fast forward to 2013 and the group was back with a revamped lineup and a new album, New Romance. The Carrots deliver a batch of songs that lives up to the promise of their singles, and gives their fans a chance to enjoy a full platter's worth of their sweet tunes. Jennifer Moore's sultry vocals are the highlight of the group's sound, giving the often light-as-a-souffle tunes some real emotional weight. She really digs deep on the slower, more melancholy tracks like "You Can't Promise (Boys)," and slinks like a true chanteuse on the R&B-inflected "New Romance." When the occasion arises to belt it out -- on "Over" -- she can do that as well. Sadly, she left the band during the recording of the album and only appears on a handful of songs. Happily, Veronica Ortuño's lead vocals on the rest of the album are perfectly fine, if a little less distinctive, and the harmonies of Shelley McKann and Rose Russo are sugar sweet throughout. McKann's one lead vocal on "Roping Me In" is a highlight, and it's a shame she didn't get more features. The band provides a well-crafted and peppy musical backing for the vocals, without any miscues or distractions -- they may be a little too well-crafted, however; it would be interesting to hear what the band would sound like if they dirtied up the production a little. Still, the album sounds great and while none of the songs reach the heights of their previous singles -- a point driven home by the inclusion of the wonderfully sad yet perky Jennifer Moore-sung "Doing Our Part" and a revamped version of "Beverly" -- they are still a nice batch of tunes that land directly in the sweet spot between girl group class and indie pop bounce.

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