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Lank Haired Girl to Bearded Boy

It's Jo and Danny

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Album Review

It's Jo and Danny have created a sun-splashed shoegazer album for the new millennium. Using One Dove as a point of departure, the band layers dreamy female vocals toward a fragile state of beauty. Manipulating perpetually jangling guitars and warm, fuzzy electronics, the band achieves an eclectic synthesis of rock and dance genres. One might say the band is giving the Wall of Sound ethic a gentle wash, as some truly foreign-sounding instruments delicately intertwine and combine. There are some occasional stabs at feedback and distortion, reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. "Hippy Thinking" is a caustic, electro-folk number, made accessible by tender, lullaby vocals. "Solar Plexus" introduces Deep South elements; the song wouldn't appear out of place as replacement to the A3 song which opens every Sopranos episode. "Repentant Song" is a sadly transfixing ballad invoking the timeless sorrow of lost love. "Arkle" is a charming foot-stomper, where a tenderly plucked guitar sees bright interplay with Marc Jordan's angelic trumpet. The album depresses and uplifts at the same time; the sign of a successful shoegazer release. Though this music is released so far into the life cycle of the shoegazer movement, there is no awkwardness or dated feel to the material. It's really quite a marvel that Lank Haired Girl to Bearded Boy works as well as it does. There are certainly times when it feels like the band is filling their pot precariously close to the brim, in that they pile on so many studio effects and exotic-sounding instruments. But, like Gomez on Bring It On, It's Jo and Danny never step over the line of pretension. Instead, they have created a timelessly charming debut which is swoon-worthy throughout its nine tracks. [The 2005 re-release of the album included four bonus tracks: "Over Your Head," "One Way Conversation," "Moscow I'm Russian," and "Found."]

Lank Haired Girl to Bearded Boy, It's Jo and Danny
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