"Roses From Leroy's," the opening track of Danielle
Howle's Thank You Mark, may be a rather inauspicious country-folk
song, but it highlights the incongruities present in the album as
a whole. With a catchy acoustic guitar hook, "Roses From Leroy's"
is engaging enough, but the lyrics fall flat. Likewise, the old school
country on Thank You Mark rivals the best work of Allison
Moorer or Tres Chicas, but the album finds her straying
from that sound, trying to incorporate too many musical influences
into the eleven tracks. The sublime Patsy Cline-meets-Reckless-era
Shelby Lynne Delta swing of "I'll Be Blue" is laced
with pedal steel and brushed drums, while the neo-spiritual "Fields
of Cotton" features a sinister melody driven by Phillip Lammonds'
ominous resonator flourishes. The heavy swing of "Oh Swear"
is rather out of place here, as is Howle's Motown-meets-James Brown
duet with Darius Rucker, "If I Can't Have You." Howle
continues genre-hopping throughout the remainder of the album - from
the big band swing of "This Kind of Light" to the pop string
intro of "Love Is a Fall." The final two tracks, the old
school honky-tonk ballad "Woman to Win" and the bass-only
gospel track "Jesus Won't Wait" are both standout tracks.
The former features an enticing fiddle reel, a moseying rhythm, and
forlorn lyrics that expound on the traditional theme of the "woman
done wrong." The latter is perhaps the most intriguing song on
the album, featuring strong, jazz-meets-country vocals against the
minimalist production. All in all, Thank You Mark is an enjoyable,
if musically non-uniform, listen.
-Tracy M. Rogers
1. Roses From LeRoy's
2. I'll Be Blue
3. Fields Of Cotton
4. Oh Swear
5. If I Can't Have You
6. This Kind Of Light
7. Walking Through The Black
8. Love Is A Fall
9. Who Knows
10. Woman To Win
11. Jesus Won't Wait
Check out more
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!