If The Skinny is a representation of what could be out there as far as local bands are concerned, then listeners are in for a pleasant surprise.
The Skinny’s self-titled album is a satisfying mixture of blues and rock. The opening track, “Running From a Sunday Afternoon”, is a perfect introduction to the band; the single best representation of what they can do. Unfortunately, by the end of the album, there are many other representations of what they can do as well.
Tracks like “Pretty Side of Town” and “One Voice” seem misplaced within the context of the rest of the album. The lyrics for “Pretty Side of Town” come off like they were conceived in an album confessional. Other songs like “Baby Please,” and “Get Sober” feel like they belong on another album altogether, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (diversity is always welcome) but compared with the rest of the album, the heavy demeanors feel almost as intrusive as the album cover.
Despite these missteps, this is a mellow album overall that seems keen on appealing to everyone. When The Skinny slow down, and they do slow down, their music feels more concentrated and interesting; like in songs “Tripping Over You,” “25 Chester Street” and “Try So Hard.” This is a band that’s most enjoyable when they’re not trying so hard to vie for your attention.
The Skinny’s self-titled album probably works best if each song is looked at as its own entity rather than part of a larger whole. Because the album doesn’t feel like a collective effort of songs, it comes off like a crossroad with no “right way.” This isn’t to say the album is a complete loss in direction. It just sometimes needs a guiding finger and some patience.
Danny Gordon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.