Patty Larkin

Red = Luck

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This is a very tasteful album featuring midtempo and slow songs with observant, personal lyrics and a carefully blended combination of folk, pop, Celtic, and other influences. Larkin's vocals are emotive in a low-key way, her multi-instrumental skills are impressive, and the ace cast of supporting musicians include Ben Wittman on lap steel and Gideon Freudmann on cello. The songs tend to be wistful or bittersweet, the writing tends to be relatively subtle (with the unfortunate exception of the Statue of Liberty's "lily white hand" in "Birmingham," a misconceived song about urban poverty), and this album should appeal to fans of Larkin's previous work as well as newcomers who like folk-pop singer/songwriters. The music could have benefited from some fiery passion and a greater sense of spontaneity; even "Louder," the album-ending romp, sounds overly decorous. Nonetheless, it's a solid album overall.

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