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Album review

Larkin Poe 

Kin

added: 7 Aug 2014 // release date: 25 Aug 2014 // label: RH Music
reviewer: David Spencer

Larkin Poe - Kin - Printable version
Since 2012's well-received Thick As Thieves, sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell have made quite the musical journey. Renowned for their classy melodic country, they say they expect fans to be surprised by the 12 tracks here. And it's no wonder. Kin is more than just a move into the fast lane. It's a change of gears and a change of cars; like changing from a Fiesta to a Ferrari!.

The tone is set from the moment Jailbreak's bluesy guitar kicks in - with the pace unrelenting until the plaintive finale of Overachiever. The beauty of Larkin Poe's development has been the lack of pigeon-holing - with the sisters always looking to explore and experiment in different musical styles. For example, Don't has elements of T-Rex, Suzi Quattro and Pink, while Crown Of Fire tips a wink to Kate Bush in vocal performance - while keeping one foot in their bluegrass roots.

If there is a commercial incentive behind this dramatic change in style, then the hit they may desire could be the anthemic Elephant. A rockier and edgier take on Adele's Rumour Has It, it is a fiery tale of infidelity; "When did you become a stranger, welcome home, my lying lover". While Elephant is a girls together anthem, the sultry Sugar High - with its spiralling guitars -sees Rebecca promising to take you higher than you've ever been before; the invitation is just too good to resist.

All through the album the sister's voices entwine wonderfully - and the lyrical phrasing is superb (check out how Megan sings the word 'better' on Stubborn Love). The production is also the right side of clever, with the likes of Dandelion and High Horse benefitting from perfect handling at the controls.

It's been an extraordinary few years for females in music - but we've seen a production line of generic and bland Adele or Amy Winehouse wannabes. Even America has been guilty of producing vanilla singers, whereas Kin is refreshingly bold. As distant relations to Edgar Allen Poe, Larkin Poe have creativity and imagination in their blood. Kin finds them channelling that better than ever before. One of the records of 2014.


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5 stars

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