I’m a music fan.
That’s such an understatement, and an obvious statement at that. But I’ll explain.
There are some people who don’t really like music as much as they have a music taste. We all have the one friend who will refuse to listen to anything outside of the one or two genres they enjoy. I personally will give anything a shot – good music is good music.
Anyway, back to the point: I’ve never been hugely into the southern rock/alt-country/grassroots rock ‘n’ roll genre, but that’s not to say I’m opposed to giving it a shot. Enter Larkin Poe, stage right.
Atlanta sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell return on Reskinned, a rock star’s pop album.
Where either genre may be insulted getting roped in with the other, there’s support to the claim. Take “Don’t” for example: the song is single material, ready for Top 40, while also packed with sharp guitar riffs and layered vocals. The chorus is catchy as all hell, but lyrically, it’s pretty standard – “Don’t try to lie / don’t try to tell me; don’t try to buy me / don’t try to sell me,” but where the writing at its core is simple, the pieces around it fit nicely. Later, “Problem” follows this same formula and runs into this same problem – heavy guitars and daggering vocals put the pedal to the floor, but weak lyricism runs the song into a wall.
It takes a while for a real groundbreaker, but by the time it arrives, it shakes off any dust or doubt. Less Skynyrd and more Sleater-Kinney, “Stubborn Love” shows up at the halfway point: a rumbling, ethereal ode to the wonders of imperfection. (It should be noted that, upon further listenings, “When God Closes a Door” could contend with “Stubborn Love.” Soulful and smooth, the song stomps along, giving the record one of its
Reskinned has its highlights, but there are the points where it falls short. The use of samples and sound effects throughout “Blunt” feel out of place, and the political/religious stances it tries making don’t put up as much of a fight as they could have.
Though the album begins to limp towards the finish line, there is a saving grace. “Crown of Fire” is a quick and upbeat hit, and closer “Overachiever” is a soft piano ballad, showing a side that isn’t seen throughout Reskinned. Light and sweet while heavy and heartfelt, it’s a beautiful, though short-lived (clocking in at just over 2:15) conclusion. The song showcases the sisters’ range, a range that I hope is further explored next time around.
There’s plenty to be a fan of on Reskinned, and there is much for Larkin Poe to be proud of. The water gets a bit murky at times, due mostly to some similarities between songs
and the chances not taken. But, when the opportunities for something new are
capitalized on, the duo create some real magic. Reskinned isn’t the best that we’ll hear from these sisters, but it’s a good sign of things to come.
Release Date: April 15th, 2016
Run Time: ~40 minutes
Check Out: “Stubborn Love,” “When God Closes a Door,” “Crown
1: “Sucker Puncher”
2: “Trouble In Mind”
4: “When God Closes a Door”
6: “Stubborn Love”
8: “Banks of Allatoona”
10: “Sugar High”
11: “Crown of Fire”