Groove-laden percussion pulses with a vivacious beat in “Why Are You So Blue?.” The plaintive harmony of a golden-piped girl and her faithful acoustic guitar spike the verses of “I Work, I Work, I Work” with intimacy. “Dead River Road” bleeds melancholy in its stoic melodies. “Madison, Maine” will transport you from whatever patch of earth you happen to be occupying to the simple summer breezes of Somerset County, New England.
If the chilling string duel of “Tak City” doesn’t push you to the very edge of your seat, then the soaring serenade of “That Picture” most definitely will. “Sunshine in My Soul” tears through the silence on the whim of a psychedelic sway, but its textured tonality doesn’t eclipse that of the even-keeled “You Don’t Need a Rose” at all. We’re beholden to everything that Lauren Crosby can muster with a microphone in her hands in “Something Strange,” and along with “Is That OK” and the mischievous “Skylights,” it gives curious music aficionados more than a few reasons to explore her all-new album I Said Take Me to the Water and all eleven of its stellar songs.
There’s more of a classic Americana feel to a lot of this material than there was in Black River Beauties, but it’s countered with a modern, folk-rocking heart and soul that keeps it from blending in with the litany of alternative country artists who have been experimenting with western influences in the last couple of years. Tracks like “Skylights” and “Tak City” are so blatantly eccentric in their construction that there’s never any debating their indie street cred, and I would even go as far as to say that, of the three full-length records that Crosby has released since hitting the scene back in 2014, this is the most difficult to categorize of the bunch. She’s not playing to one specific audience over another in this LP; “Sunshine in My Soul,” “Something Strange” and “Why Are You So Blue?” share no formulaic similarities other than their adherence to earthy, unfanciful aesthetics, and I think that if this album gets the right platform to reach the masses, it’s going to draw a more diverse group of listeners than anything that Crosby has cut in the last five years has.
I Said Take Me to the Water is a must-listen whether you’ve heard Lauren Crosby’s music before or not, and if you are one of the few indie buffs who has managed to go this last half-decade without catching a glimpse of her amazing talents, I would recommend this record as being an excellent place to start. Crosby combines everything within her broad scope of influences to make a truly engaging piece of music for us in this latest release, and even if you don’t usually gravitate towards albums with a rootsy rhythm underpinning the central narrative, I think you’re going to find this LP to be a far cry from the status quo in contemporary Americana as we’ve come to know it in 2019. This is the cream of the crop, and it’s an incredibly melodic way to get this summer started.
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