Allo Darlin’ – We Come From the Same Place

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 3)

This was the last Allo Darlin’ album (still on Slumberland) – they broke up in 2016. On the whole, I think it’s a good thing that they ended it before making some crappy album that would disappoint me and force me to pretend it didn’t exist. Of course, they probably would’ve made a great fourth abum but I try not to think about that. It’s sad when good bands end, but that’s true of everything. Bands are no different than relationships or lives or oyster happy hours. This is the Allo Darlin’ album I listen to the least; I have a difficult time categorizing it in my mind, though if forced, I guess it is their guitar album. I think it is slightly weaker than the other two, though it has some great songs on it. Elizabeth Morris formed another band – Elva – that I have not checked out, for no good reason or even bad reason. Maybe after the next oyster happy hour…

What I Think of This Album

The thing that stands out most on this album to me is the guitar. There is some legit distorted guitar work on “Bright Eyes” and “Half Heart Necklace.” J Mascis doesn’t need to look over his shoulder or anything, but it is pretty cool and a nice development for a band that you might not have believed could credibly rock out.

Cleaner, intricate guitar work is featured on the title track, “Heartbeat,” and “Crickets in the Rain.” The melodies are slighter this time around, but Morris sounds amazing as usual (her singing on “Kings and Queens” and “Angela” is lovely) and again, the playing explores some nooks previously ignored. The liner notes, by the way, are written by Darren Hayman of Hefner (another wonderful band) and Hayman and Morris share a keen eye for observing the smaller details of human nature.

Paul Rains’s vocal turn on “Bright Eyes” is a surprise – his voice is fine, but not sturdy enough to hold its own with Morris, and when they duet, the similarity in voice types sounds weird; this is a song begging for Calvin Johnson. That said, the lyrics the two share are mostly great (the opening couplet, sung by Rains, is a clanker), the call-and-response chorus is fun, and of course, the guitar work is awesome. “Half Heart Necklace” is a highlight, with an almost Pixies bass intro, as is “History Lesson,” with its gentle rhythm and subdued ukelele. “Crickets in the Rain” sounds like it could’ve come from the first album – it’s bright and youthful and crisp.

The Best Thing About This Album

“Half Heart Necklace” is a gutsy, fun rocker. “I hope losers can come out on top.”

Release Date

October, 2014

The Cover Art

Finally, Allo Darlin’ gets it right with the cover art! This is so nearly perfect it hurts. The sans-serif font is absolutely the appropriate choice and the placement centered halfway down the cover is perfect. The color of the text is also excellent. My only complaint is that the band should not be on the cover, and the black-and-white photo should be lighter, so we could fully appreciate those glorious leaves and the buildings peeking out behind the trunks.

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