Sing-Sing and I

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As if Lisa O'Neill and Emma Anderson hadn't already endured enough, Sing-Sing's second album, Sing-Sing and I, almost didn't happen. They went through a list of labels with the release of their first few singles and their 2001 full-length, The Joy of Sing-Sing. When it came time to record a follow-up, Sing-Sing was once again without a label and without the cash flow. Thankfully, fans rallied around the making of the duo's self-released EP, Madame, in 2003. Donations made through the band's website were aplenty, so much so that Sing-Sing were able to complete Madame and set up shop for a second studio effort. Sing-Sing and I is the stylish result of such a painstaking period, and the band's first proper release for its own Aerial imprint. It's much more stripped-down and loose compared to the glossy polish of The Joy of Sing-Sing. Anderson and O'Neill's girlish pop harmonies are as dreamy and lovely as ever, especially on the Alan Moulder-mixed tracks "Ruby" and "A Modern Girl." By now, it should be obvious that the talent behind Sing-Sing is their mirrored vocals, which are so clear and so charming. Anderson and O'Neill are not particularly adventurous as musicians; however, their kind of indie pop doesn't have to be so daring in order to be considered good. Sing-Sing and I is a bit more experimental than the last record, in the way that these individual songs do not need to coexist as a set. Each song is uniquely designed without coming off as rehashed, and songs such as the quasi-vaudevillian "I Do" and theatrical march of "The Time Has Come" are fine examples of this. The more posh numbers like "Lover" and "Going Out Tonight" also capture the freshness of Sing-Sing's work found here. If you're looking for a place to daydream, cozy up to Sing-Sing and I. It'll be a grand time.

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