Madeline Kenney - Sucker’s Lunch Music Album Reviews

Co-produced by Wye Oak, the singer-songwriter’s new album reckons with a past of self-doubt and a present of intense uncertainty in order to shape something like a satisfying future.

For three albums, Madeline Kenney has poignantly and often playfully articulated the absurdities of modern adulthood. On her 2017 debut, the Toro y Moi-produced Night Night at First Landing, the Oakland baker, dancer, and singer-songwriter with the neuroscience degree sang post-grad mantras for herself, mid-20s reminders that tough times were inevitable but endurable. She got specific on 2018’s Perfect Shapes, reckoning with the burdensome workload of a creative class underfunded by a gig economy and the suspicion that existence itself is a deleterious process. And now, nearing 30 on Sucker’s Lunch, Kenney asks herself for permission to fall in love, or to reckon with a past of self-doubt and a present of intense uncertainty in order to shape something like a satisfying future.
Kenney seems to have found both a mentor and friend in Jenn Wasner, the Wye Oak and Flock of Dimes linchpin who produced Perfect Shapes. Their rapport shaped that album’s sense of discovery, illustrated by a crosswalk sample that became an unlikely and compulsory hook. For Sucker’s Lunch, though, Kenney worked not only with Wasner and a cast of her own past collaborators but also with Andy Stack, the other multi-instrumentalist half of Wye Oak. Aside from Wye Oak’s own records, it’s the first album the pair have produced together. They lend Kenney a righteous heft here, their experience fortifying songs that, in the past, might have felt wispy.

It’s tempting to hear Sucker’s Lunch as another extension of Wye Oak, a full-length collaboration with a novel singer rather than a joint production. Many of their chief hallmarks are here—the way the harmonies and keys pirouette over lumbering drums during “Sugar Sweat,” the emphatic rhythmic punctuation that ends “Tell You Everything,” the euphoric and arcing repetition of “Double Hearted.” If you landed on that last song without checking the title or the credits, you might assume Kenney is simply a Wye Oak acolyte—or that the band itself sounds different this time around.

But Sucker’s Lunch inverts Wye Oak’s general approach. Where Wye Oak’s songs often seem purposefully resilient, designed like body armor meant to safeguard the feelings they ferry, these 10 songs wear their feelings on the skin. The sighing organs and yearning guitars of “Jenny” perfectly capture the bittersweet sting of remembering your past and hoping for a better future. Likewise, the surging and glorious “White Window Light” captures the uneasy excitement of committing to new love even if it might backfire, of “jumping in the water without plans.”

Despite all its lyrical prevarication, there’s a newfound directness to much of Sucker’s Lunch, a definitive step beyond the self-aware cleverness of Kenney’s earlier records. “Sucker,” for instance, surveys our modern malaise with prismatic snapshots of political fractures, mental fatigue, and endless worry. The band renders a wonderfully blue country shuffle beneath them, with luminous guitar harmonies that suggest Nels Cline and drums that feel like slumped shoulders. Kurt Wagner—for almost 30 years, the maestro of Lambchop’s own exquisite moodiness—deadpans the verses alongside Kenney, offering a cross-generational reminder that exasperation is a preexisting condition. And “Be That Man” springs from a gothic country creak into big, open-hearted rock, its chorus a perfect nugget of would-be AM Gold that needs no complications.

Such transmutation is the enduring lesson of Kenney’s small catalogue so far: Turn life’s impasses into empathetic rock songs, little anthems for overcoming self-renewing heartache and exhaustion and anxiety. On Sucker’s Lunch, Kenney gets closer to the core of that idea than ever before thanks to sharper writing, stronger hooks, a versatile voice, and a continued partnership with friends who allow her to try new approaches. These are the results, it would seem, of growing up—the same complicated process that gave Kenney the grist for these 10 songs about figuring out what’s next.
View the original article here
Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Madeline Kenney - Sucker’s Lunch Music Album Reviews Madeline Kenney - Sucker’s Lunch Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, August 07, 2020 Rating:

0 comments:

Post a Comment