Reynolds Robinson

The Side Effects of Dying

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Reynolds Robinson aren't one person, but two: Pam Reynolds and Rob Robinson. If that doesn't capture one's attention, the clever title of their album, The Side Effects of Dying, probably will. This morbid cleverness spills over onto the first song, "If I Live Through This," sung by Rob Robinson. The narrator meets a girl at the state fair and things move a bit too fast for his comfort, starting with her removing her clothes in the house of mirrors and then -- the following Wednesday -- moving her furniture into his house. The chorus repeats: "If I live through this/I won't do no wrong/I'm swearing off brown whiskey/I'll write a gospel song." What follows "If I Live Though This," though, is less humorous and much more singer/songwriter-flavored. Unlike the typical singer/songwriter approach, though, Reynolds Robinson take a rather brash approach to arrangements and production, giving The Side Effects of Dying an almost alternative country-rock (with emphasis on the rock) feel. It's a nice change of pace when things mellow out a bit with "You're Free," the seventh track, and then dip down into an acoustic ballad for the title track. The Side Effects of Dying finally offers something of a compromise between heavy lyrics and a heavy production, and one may find oneself wishing for more humor to balance things out.

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