Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay
Before the World Was Made
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Nov. 1, 2013
Brennen Leigh & Noel McKayBefore the World Was Made
When Brennen Leigh released her 2007 duet with local honky-tonker Jesse Dayton, Holdin' Our Own, her hard Midwestern twang played well off Dayton's low croon. Leigh's new collaboration with local songwriter Noel McKay doesn't strike as immediately as the classic country-styled duets with Dayton, but it ultimately sinks in deeper behind the natural chemistry of the real-life couple. McKay and Leigh, both accomplished songwriters, together ooze the kind of charm that can't be forced, winding through love songs both playful and sincere. Traded jabs on "Breaking Up and Making Up Again," "Ball and Chain," and the love-testing getaway of "Let's Go to Lubbock on Vacation" delight in their playful punch lines, while "The Only Other Person in the Room," "Soft Guitars," and title track unfold tenderly. Compelling pairings multiply collective talent.