Friday, May 04, 2007
Album Review: Private Eleanor - Sweethearting
Finally slaying their dragon of self-discovery and settling in to a sound that is inherently theirs, Baltimore's Private Eleanor have engendered an album with more depth and self-assuredness than previous efforts.
Released on local label The Beechfields, Sweethearting was primarily recorded live and relies primarily on diaphanous vocal harmonies from Marian Glebes and primary songwriter Austin Stahl, and upon not-so-commonplace keyed instruments like Rhodes piano as well as vibraphone, courtesy of Drew Stevens. Deceitfully scant in its sound, Sweethearting requires its audience to focus, lest the listener miss the heart-rending content of the lyrics. Born of a poetic talent, the words to the story that is Sweethearting evade the wooden quality of common pop lyrics which usually consist of concise lines and verse-chorus-verse structure, favoring instead a storied approach which is presented in the liner notes more as a two-act short story than a transcription of what's being said on the album.
Whatever Stahl's muse, Glebes is the siren, making mournfully despondent words soothing to even the most rueful spirit, calling desperate ears to the shoals of "Down Waterview" for comfort. "Weeds" is a brief aural reprieve from the woebegone ambience of "Temporary Homes", favoring brighter guitar tones over the vibrato of the Hammond organ.
When alone on an unseasonably brisk summer evening, feeling empty or as if something is missing, put this album on, and remember why it's fine to feel down once in a while. By the time you get to "This Year I'm Going To See The Sun" you'll come around and realize the storm will pass, and a warm summer sky awaits you tomorrow.
Free MP3: Private Eleanor - "Temporary Homes"
Go to Private Eleanor's webstore to buy the CD.