+++.5: Tick (Sony), Marry Me Jane's new release is good listening.
Marry Me Jane, the group whose unique style of alternative pop you might remember from the 1996 movie If Lucy Fell has once again graced the music listening public with an album. This, their second album, Tick, is notably less majestic than their self-titled debut, but Tick has a bite of its own. The privileged listener is greeted by twelve very distinct ditties ranging from soft and soothing light rock, to fast paced alternative, to stuff that can only be described as indescribable. All the while, lead singer Amanda Kravat croons hypnotically amidst guitar, drums, bass, and even an occasional harmonica. The other band members Tim Beattie, Richard Pagano, Dan Petty, and Brad Albetta wail away on their instruments and occasionally lend vocal support.
The groups original album gained the band acclaim most notably with its hit song "Twenty-one" which spent many weeks surfing the radio circuits. Other notable tracks from the original album include "You Didn't Kiss Me," " Tabitha," and "Candy."
Tick unfortunately didn't have anything quite as blockbuster as "Twenty-one." What you do get for your money is a sweet little album with nothing overly spectacular, but enough variety to satisfy any musical taste. All the songs are about equally worth listening to. In other words, it isn't one of those freak albums where you pay $13.99 for one real good song and twelve other tracks of absolute Garbage--no reference to the band of the same name intended; well maybe a little. One notably good track shaking the river leaves the listener spell bound, but unfortunately makes all the sense of an acid trip when one bothers to figure out what she's saying. Similar statements can be made about many of the best songs on the album. Needless to say, the band could definitely stand to work on the lyrics. Sadly, pretty voices, catchy phrases, and a bumping melody do not an album make. The group tends to go for more of a make-'em-feel-good for the moment style rather than striving to leave you pondering their words.
But all in all, Tick was a rollercoaster ride leaving one in an emotional dizzy as Amanda goes from emotional high to low and back again. It's an album that is most definitely worth listening to. But is it a ride worth paying for?...most definitely! I give it two vertical upright digits. The voices and melodies more than make up for the lack of depth. The songs make you smile just listening to them and what's wrong with that? Singing along is also highly recommended. Who cares if it's gibberish?