All We Are (Team Austin)
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., Nov. 1, 2013
Loves ItAll We Are (Team Austin)
The eternal hamstring of having too many ideas comes from not knowing whether you're making floor wax or dessert topping. Such is the all-over fate of Loves It. The road-tested Austin duo's second full-length goes on a mixed-bag bender of Appalachian-derived folk, honky-tonk tearjerkers, and quirk-laden acoustic pop. That leaves the unadorned, plaintive vocal interplay between Jenny Parrott and Vaughn Walters to tie it all together. After opening with the clever a cappella wordplay of "Katydid," Parrott takes off on the sweet-sounding jukebox mash note "The Angels Sing." Her ability to bend and stretch notes for strategic emotive wallop goes a step further on the woeful love triangle ballad, "Choose." The wry, Conway-and-Loretta humor of "(Would You Like to Be) My First Divorce" and "Western Swing Murder" also hits the mark. It's tempting to suggest narrowing the focus as a remedy for superfluous half-executions like "Rocketship," but the acrobatic songwriting instincts also feed genuinely moving meditations like "Peace." Despite the imperfections of its bric-a-brac veneer, All We Are radiates homespun endearment.