Once one-third of the indie rock outfit Spent, Jersey City's Annie Hayden forged out to record her first solo album with the help of old bandmate John King. The result is the strikingly beautiful and gimmick-free The Rub, a surprisingly catchy collection of hum-and-strummed pop songs and instrumentals that work best when piped through headphones and given your undivided and deserved attention. Full of plinking pianos, perfect harmonies, and both acoustic and electric guitars, The Rub feels more like a complete package rather than a series of singles. The highlight, notably, is Hayden's fantastic front-and-center vocals. Most often recalling Mary Lou Lord, Lois Maffeo, or Little Red Car Wreck's Mary Water, Hayden's effortless, no-frills delivery alone is worth seeking out this debut. And on an album full of reasons to listen, that's saying a lot.
AllMusic Review by Jimmy Draper