Allo Darlin’ – Europe

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 2)

This was the first Allo Darlin’ album I heard, and bought, and the one I like best. I think I usually tend to prefer the music that introduced me to the band to their other work, but that’s not always the case. Morris’s voice is perfection here, the songs are uniformly strong, and the playing is virtuosic. I focus on Morris’s singing but I should not undersell Paul Rains’s guitar work – it is delicate and fleet-fingered, and this band is far from being just “Liz and the Boys.” You really need this band in your life. This album was released on the Slumberland label, which I think is a great fit for the band.

What I Think of This Album

If you listen to only one Allo Darlin’ album – a risible notion – then this should be the one. It’s less twee than the debut, and better than the third. The vocals are emphasized more, but the songs are also more muscular. It’s really this band’s shining moment in the sun – they sound much more mature and driven, and they do everything right on this album.

Morris, as usual, is the star; she is the Australian goddess of song. Her double-tracked, self-harmonized vocals on the catchy “Capricornia Skies” are phenomenal. “Neil Armstrong” shows Morris being frustrated and confused by her partner, but no less devoted for it. The title track works violins into the mix nicely. The quiet moments like “Some People Say” and “Tallulah” (which references and is named after a Go-Betweens album, and also references Toots and the Maytals) are affecting and tender. “Tallulah” is a spare (read: vocal and barely-there ukelele), broken-hearted, trans-continental, snail mail tale of regret and apology, heavy on nostalgia for small yet cinematic moments, and it is fucking gorgeous.

Most of these songs seem to involve some degree of sadness, but Morris is far too sophisticated and respectful to try to peddle pop fantasy here. Her songs are black-and-blue without ever delving into hopelessness, and the happy moments are far from oversold –  or as she puts it, “this is life / this is living.”

The Best Thing About This Album

“Tallulah” is astonishing. Just mind-boggling. “I’m wondering if I’ve already heard all the songs that will mean something / And I’m wondering if I’ve already met all the people that will mean something”

Release Date

May, 2012

The Cover Art

Still the weakest part of this band’s aesthetic. A crazy quilt of geometric shapes with a superimposed circle of wind turbines, and a treeline as a footer? And omitting an album title. Fail.

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