Lucius - Wildewoman
Reviewing something you really like lends itself too easily to superlatives. For example, how many times in recent years have you heard an album proclaimed to be "the best debut of the year"? In the case of the diverse, yet utterly cohesive, debut from Brooklyn, New York outfit Lucius, it might be hard to avoid such gesturing.
Released in the US late last year and available now to coincide with an upcoming four-date UK run, Wildewoman delivers not an ounce of fat across its 11 tracks. The band's star players are evident from the off: dual vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. Their harmonies are sumptuous and flawless, equally adept at wooing the soul in softer numbers like 'Two Of Us On The Run' as they are at getting the foot tapping in upbeat pop-rock slices such as 'Turn It Around'.
It's their musicanship that gives Wildewoman its heart and ensures that whatever musical avenue we find ourselves in, it's unmistakably Lucius. And the album certainly goes travelling. From outright pop ('Hey Doreen') to more experimental rock ('Nothing Ordinary') via some splashes of country (the title track), there's the old cliché of something for everyone. These directions also prove that it isn't just the Wolfe and Laessig show, with the rest of the band holding up their end with excellent melodies and sharp percussion throughout.
Lucius have crafted an involving and auspicious debut, one which is likely to reappear come 2014's appraisal. If it isn't, then we must have enjoyed one hell of a year.