Reviewed by Rachel Rascoe, Fri., June 29, 2018
Having hopped around the country prior to their current Austin abode, husband-and-wife duo the Watters pay tribute to their geographic and musical ventures on a sophomore release. Opener "I Need You" launches their immediately familiar feel-good, big-band, old-school assembly. A sevenpiece setup of bright horns (lent by the Shinyribs crew) and generally groovy aesthetics cushion Jenna Watters' crystal clear vocals, sometimes grasping at soulful Feist. Waxes on love and relocation continue into chipper collab "Soul to Soul," unleashing Daniel Watters' twang-dusted lyrics and bluesy guitar lines. "Set You Free" commits its final half to a gospel organ solo under honeyed, tumbling brass embellishments. The couple largely reins in the sonic inconsistencies of debut Great Unknown, aside from one Disney duet patch working sultry jazz ("Something in the Stars") and a theatrical lull ("Along the Way"). A stormier direction unfolds the three final tracks, Jenna leading thoughtfully somber dives into an odyssey of relationship tumults. Despite the elemental fusion, the collection maps a developmental road stretching ahead for the traversing twosome.