The Watson Twins know how to set a mood, whether they’re shaping the country-soul of Jenny Lewis’ Rabbit Fur Coat or the Southern slow-burn of their own material. Released four years after their breakthrough performance with Lewis, however, this sophomore album finds the sisters struggling to write songs as evocative as their own voices. Talking to You, Talking to Me takes its cues from the right sources -- including Carole King’s solo material and the darker, twangier side of the Laurel Canyon scene -- and features contributions from a sparse, top-notch band populated by members of My Morning Jacket and Everest. The sisterly harmonies and country-tinged arrangements are pleasant enough, but they focus on atmosphere at the expense of melody, a move that leaves the listener emotionally stirred but unable to recall a single melody after the disc’s conclusion. Songs like “Give Me a Chance,” "Midnight," and “Harpeth River” are exceptions to the rule, but Talking to You ultimately focuses on what’s already been established -- the power of the Watson Twins’ voices -- rather than the group’s potential as songwriters.
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey