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Danielle Howle
Thank You Mark
Valley Entertainment
www.daniellehowle.com


"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

Track Listing:
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


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