Wildewoman, the Mom + Pop-issued debut long-player from stylish Brooklyn-based indie pop outfit Lucius, is a strange beast. On the one hand, it's an evocative, sepia-toned torch ballad of a record that invokes names like Neko Case and Phil Spector, and on the other, it flirts with propulsive, Santigold-kissed R&B and dense, '80s-fueled, Killers-esque melodrama. As polarizing as the sudden shifts in style can be, it's hard not to get caught up in the luster of it all, as co-frontwomen and Berklee College of Music voice majors Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig are both formidable sirens who can croon, coo, comfort, and howl with the best of them, and when paired with the lush chamber/electro-pop production and meticulously detailed playing from drummer Danny Molad and guitarists Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri, the results can be dizzying. Wildewoman is at its best when all of the group's proclivities are tossed into the pot, re-seasoned, and simmered until done, and songs like the propulsive "Turn It Around," the lush title cut, and the roaring "Tempest" navigate the spaces between those predilections with great aplomb, creating a surprisingly listenable hybrid of country, new wave, AOR pop, and NPR-baiting indie rock in their wake. When the group shimmies back down to O Brother, Where Art Thou? territory, like on the bluesy "Go Home," the Lumineers-inspired "Two of Us on the Run," and, to a lesser extent, the atmospheric and vaudevillian "Monsters," Wildewoman can feel a little rote, but to its credit, never dull, due in large part to Wolfe and Laessig's commanding performances.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger