Danielle Howle

Thank You, Mark

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Danielle Howle has gained a rep for genre-hopping (even within the boundaries of one album), and label-hopping from one album to the next as well. For those familiar with her punk and country roots, Thank You, Mark starts with a rather blasé "Roses from Leroy's," a song that reminds one of a dozen other singer/songwriters. Both the straight country of "I'll Be Blue" and the blues of "Fields of Cotton" work much better, with Howle injecting a healthy dose of authenticity into these traditional structures. Howle's genre-jumping approach guarantees that the listener will never grow bored with the same groove, but it doesn't give Thank You, Mark much unity. Indeed, if one were listening to the album for the first time, one might gain the impression that it was a compilation. From country and blues she jumps to big band on "Oh Swear," an R&B duet on "If I Can't Have You," and a quiet interlude on "Love Is a Fall." Howle is a versatile vocalist, quite able to work in all of these genres, and even comes up with the catchy folk-pop of "Who Knows" late in the album. Finally, however, her approach on Thank You, Mark seems scattered and, at 36 minutes, short.

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