(thru Warner Music)
The Verses is the new band by former Killing Heidi siblings Ella and Jesse Hooper. And oh, what a disappointment this debut is.
I love Ella’s voice, and the previous Verses’ EP showed some promise, but this album just falls flat. I’m not going to spend a lot of time picking it apart because, to be honest, there isn’t much to say once an album annoys you as much as this one annoyed me, but let me see if I can justify my hostility.
Apart from the flat production and the, by and large, uninspiring and unmemorable songs, I think what really got up my nose about this outing was its pretensions to be something it wasn’t.
What I detected was a band trying to latch onto the alt.country/roots movement without really understanding how that music worked. A bit of twangy guitar and the odd lick of lap-steel a roots album does not make.
I can accept this might be an unfair assessment. Maybe the guys really are into roots music and have a genuine desire to produce a radio-friendly version of it. But if they are, they haven’t yet learned how to write it or play it. This music has all the authenticity of Dennis Walter singing ‘You Make Feel Like a Natural Woman’.
Sorry, but it’s back to the drawing board, I reckon.