Larkin Poe and Thom Hell - The Sound of the Ocean Sound
Sister duo Rebecca and Megan Lovell, aka Larkin Poe, team up with Norwegian singer-songwriter Thom Hall for full length folk effort The Sound of the Ocean Sound. This is not a predictable career move for the former and despite their reputation for dreamy romanticism and soothing melody, the charm is lost as the two sounds are forcibly welded together. The album follows a cruelly consistent formula of opening with an attention grabbing introduction, only to stumble and fall at the first chorus hurdle. The almost Afro-folk inspired 'Leave' almost breaks the tradition with its powerful steady beat, but the percussion is soon overlooked thanks to a muddled chorus/verse structure which builds the rest of the track.
At times TSOTOS has a brief flirtation with the entrancing: odd magical 20 seconds are dotted here and there throughout the LP, but its insistence to over-complicate often ruins tracks with potential. Vocally, both the male and female contributors are technically excellent, yet pushed together in a verse and the cheesy nature of the lyrics grate upon your nerves. Had Larkin Poe perhaps chosen to reserve stories about long lost husbands and fallen war veterans for their individual work, then perhaps the intended sincerity would have been achieved, but unfortunately here it has been sabotaged. No doubt that both contributors are skilled in their art but here, the intensity and intimacy can leave the listener confused and uncomfortable.