Summer Skin (Root House Records / Thirty Tigers)
Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., Aug. 24, 2012
Amy CookSummer Skin (Root House Records/Thirty Tigers)
A decade of steady gigging has given Amy Cook a weathered, comfortable sound, and Summer Skin perfects it. The Austin songstress follows up the folk base of 2010 breakthrough Let the Light In by delving deeper into steel guitar laced pop. Opener "Waiting 4 the World 2 End" sets the pace at a gallop, bouncing and weaving through conversationally toned lyrics: "Laying in your bed/ listening to the Talking Heads/just waiting for the world to end." Cook just as easily caresses lush folk laments like the title track, which scales up and down the guitar fret highlighting Cook's leathery voice. She balances rumbling songs with the playful and painfully catchy "Hello, Bunny," which hops and skips like its namesake. Guest appearances from newly minted local Robert Plant on the hazy "It's Gonna Rain" and grinding "Airplane Driver" are easily recognizable, but Cook is never overpowered by Plant or other cameos by locals Ben Kweller and Patty Griffin. Not only does Amy Cook own Summer Skin, it fits her like one.