Thursday, December 13, 2012

33. Allo Darlin' - Europe (Slumberland)

Allo Darlin’s name might seem sickly cute. Their first LP (self-titled, 2010) and preceding singles might have garnered attention for their spunky cleverness and charmingly cheeky moments, on love songs that played on pop-culture touchpoints; songs like “Henry Rollins Don’t Dance” or “Woody Allen”, where she imagined and un-imagined a relationship as an Allen or Ingmar Bergman film. What made Allo Darliin’ special, though, was something more. Even in the lightest and cutest moments, Elizabeth Morris’ singing and songs had a vulnerability about them that felt both genuine and familiar, and an impression of openness that was disarming and made her feel like someone you knew or could know. Even the most treacly sentiment, like a recipe for chili needing two hearts to make it, came off as extraordinarily tender and sweet. The album was the perfect evidence that so-called “twee” indie-pop music, sometimes easily dismissed as un-serious if you’re listening just on the surface, can have real gravity to it. Allo Darlin’s debut had real weight in the songs, even when they seemed flighty and just-for-fun.

The more downcast follow-up Europe puts that bittersweet feeling, her way of writing light yet weighty songs, at the forefront. Morris and band point her wit and charm in a more serious direction, erasing the most “cute” level of their music, without taking any of the attractive, immediate pop qualities with it. If anything, those elements are developed even further, so the music and lyrics carry the same feelings in a way that feels natural and sounds more muscular and deep than you might expect.

via PopMatters (read rest there) 

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