Hey everyone. For this week’s album review we’ll be taking a second look at an album released in 2010 that’s been steadily gaining popularity around campus this year: The Head and the Heart‘s self-titled debut.
I first turned this album on just as I was walking out the door for class, it starts off with the great tick-tocking rhythm of “Cats and Dogs” which instantly gave off a familiar folksy, indie-pop feel, but as soon as the singer cuts in, I got the feeling that this was not going to be like anything I’d experienced before. Quarter note rimshots, half-time woodblock, upbeat acoustic downstrokes and catchy, intentionally familiar harmonies give the song a charmingly kitschy vibe. The first track is timed to slide perfectly in the second, “Coeur D’Alene” which could almost be the second movement in the symphony that is The Head and the Heart, opposed to the second song. I had actually gotten to the third track in the album, “Ghosts” before I thought to check how many songs I had listened to, all of the songs lead into one another so well.
The rest of the album highlights this band’s amazing ability to create a handful of songs that are cohesive while still remaining distinctive. Over every song is a perfectly gravelly voice singing such lines as “you’re already home where you feel love” over a recognizable, poppy brand of indie-folk that has the power to appeal to fans of truer-to-form folk and silly radio indie-rock alike. It’s hard to go wrong.
Surely they knew what they were doing – singing “I just wanna die with the one I love!” in three-part harmony over thumping percussion; the sincerity absent from many of their peers’ efforts is definitely what drives much of The Head and the Heart’s appeal. It’s also the band’s feel-good warmth that make any of these perfect-3rd harmonies and folky crescendos more than just good music theory.
I’d love to see the Head and Heart branch out for their sophomore effort, all too often a great debut is soured when the band refuses to deviate from their method.
The longer you listen to this album the greater appreciation you’ll have for it.
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