At the tender age of 22, Oklahoma singer/songwriter Samantha Crain
has already carved out an impressive reputation, one sparked by critical kudos
and two sensual sets of songs – an EP called Confiscation and this beguiling followup. It’s not that Crain goes
out of way to draw attention; while others her age sometimes lean towards a
more insurgent stance, Crain keeps a lowered gaze.
Fortunately, the unembellished arrangements don’t mute her
enthusiasm; the ebullient surge of songs like “Rising Sun,” “Long Division,”
“Songs in the Night” and “Bullfight (Change your Mind)” makes her back-country
balladry all the more endearing. Still,
anyone inclined to think of Crain as some freewheeling folkie would clearly be mistaken.
The sense of urgency infused in “Devils in Boston,” the forlorn sprawl of “The
Dam Song” and the skewered theatrics that drive “Bananafish Revolution” each
attest to Crain’s savvy and spunk.
tracks: “Rising Sun,” “Long Division” LEE ZIMMERMAN