The Secret Sisters, Put Your Needle Down (Album of the Week)

The problem with trying to be open-minded about trying different genres of music is that every now and then you collide with something you just can’t like, even though there’s nothing wrong with it at all. “Put Your Needle Down” is a great title for an album – at least for those of us who remember the connection between needles and music – and the critics love it, but it just didn’t grab me.

If you love music by the Everly Brothers and well-wrought harmonies by women singing songs that could have come off the radio in 1960, this album will appeal to you.

There’s nothing really bad I can say about this album – and that’s pretty unusual for me. But, here’s further evidence that I’m not just being a narrow-minded jerk – Robin didn’t like it either! She has a huge bias in favor of pretty-voiced women singing vocal-dominated tracks. You should see her swig chamomile tea when Carole King sings “Boys in the Trees” (oh, wait, was that Carly Simon? – my bad).

I want to assign flaws to this album, but I can’t. It wasn’t monotonous – the Sisters covered a pretty good range of styles with aplomb. It wasn’t self-absorbed crap – the songs were approachable and understandable. It wasn’t anything bad at all – it just didn’t grab me.

There’s something to be learned here, I think, about the limits to my own taste. I don’t like sweet potatoes or pineapple. I can’t argue that those are bad foods – people with good taste love both of those foods, but I don’t. The Secret Sisters are sonic pineapple for me. Go read the positive reviews and if you think you would enjoy cleverly written songs sung well in traditional styles by pretty female voices, you should probably get a copy of this album. But I think I’ll take a pass, if that’s alright.

Next up: Voyager, by Jenny Lewis

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