Preview You Don't Own My Anymore by The Secret Sisters.
You Don't Own Me Anymore by The Secret Sisters
OK, so we’ve been a bit slow off the blocks telling you about this release. You Don’t Own Me Anymore has been sitting nicely in the Americana charts for a few weeks, but it is such a sweet delight that we felt the need to catch up rather than let it pass by.
The sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers have had some considerable tribulation following their first two albums: this includes a departure from the original record company and bankruptcy. However under the care and guidance of Brandi Carlile, they found their way back into the recording studio and the results are blistering.
Effortless harmonies are a pleasure to hear but to do it with such arresting beauty is truly a gift. These Alabama ladies have recorded 12 tracks of mostly their own compositions but have also included a composition of Paul Simon’s “Kathy’s Song’.
“Tennessee River Runs Low” is a wonderful start, a song about the veritable torrent that flows through their home town of Muscle Shoals. The benchmark is set for vocals that captivate and express such personality as a banjo leads with a lively rhythm.
“He’s Fine” has something of a Simon & Garfunkel vibe as the Rogers tell the bittersweet tale of a love lost to a ‘Louisiana girl’ and the regret that he now lies in a Tennessee bed with her. They name check a ‘Davey White’ and you are sufficiently suspicious to believe that there is actually a man out there feeling like a rat.
“To All The Girls Who Cry” is a intolerably exquisite vocal with strings and a sparse piano guiding a delicate affair. Soaring harmonies and a melody, which is evocative of a timeless era, allow the ladies to break your heart.
“You Don’t Own Me Anymore” is a shade dark as an ominous backing allow the Sisters to remonstrate that they are not bound to a former lover despite their tears (probably confirming that that still do). A more electric Rock backing gives this the edge it demands.
My head and my heart seem to never agree
Cause my head knows it's best that you set me free
My heart says that nothing will satisfy me
After so many years, so many tears
Everly Brother harmonies come to mind on “’Til Its Over” as the Sisters ask you to allow them to sleep until its over, that is, a night outside their absent lover’s arms, with a strummed guitar and the odd piano key. Delicious.
Their earlier releases with other luminary producers (T Bone Burnett, David Cobb and Jack White) seemed to make the vocals just an attractive feature of a more cluttered arrangement. Brandi Carlile appears to have championed and led their cause and her production with the Hanseroth Twins demonstrates more confidence in allowing the vocals to speak for themselves.
(Ms Carlile is someone who is starting to demonstrate some prodigious talent on collaborations with others as evidenced on her reimagined Covers Stories compilation earlier this year).
This is a wonderfully crafted album of traditional Country/Folk/Americana by accomplished troubadours. Any love and success that comes their way is theirs by right.