Rhythm & Views

The Watson Twins

The vibe of this first full-length album from The Watson Twins (best known for their collaboration with Jenny Lewis on Rabbit Fur Jacket) is wholly American, and--like this grand, eclectic country of ours--that encompasses a whole lotta elements: soul, country, R&B, folk, indie rock, gospel and jazz.

Once one learns that the Watson Twins are, in fact, real identical twins who have been singing and writing music together for 30 years, it seems perfectly obvious: there could be no other explanation for their seamless vocal collaborations. The dreamy, ethereal web they spin is their hallmark, but it could also be considered the biggest weakness of Fire Songs. The melodic vocals and the pleasant, smooth instrumentation can lull one into a dreamlike state and belie the fact that there is actually some pretty masterful song-crafting going on. It's easy to not pay full attention to Fire Songs and instead just let Chandra and Leigh's voices wash over you. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on how you like your music: Do you prefer an electrical jolt, or a warm bath you ease into?

I beseech you to check out the Twins' absolutely gorgeous, folksy cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven." I'm not going so far as to say that the ladies have improved on it--it's a perfect pop song already--but they have made a venerated song their own while maintaining the wistful integrity of the original.

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