Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Another very strong release from this husband & wife duo that hails from Florida. The reason that geographic location is noteworthy because of the mood the music evokes. Swampy, heated, and channels the heart and soul of the blues. Their timing is impeccable, as they maintain the symmetry by releasing an album every two to three years. Drive Till U Die was their 2016 release which seemed to really pave the way for Pop-N-Downers. I was trying to listen to both releases to see if there were any noteworthy departures from one release to the next. What I discovered is that Drive Till U Die is the bridge that allowed Hymn For Her to be in the creative position to release Pop-N-Downers.
This is a simple case of “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” In this case, the egg comes in first. Without feeding and nurturing that egg, there would be no Pop-N-Downers (AKA chicken). In addition to the prominent display of bluesy elements, gospel, flamenco, vaudeville, and Tex Mex plumage are also prominently displayed.
The song, Human Condition (Track 2) doesn’t have a star next to it in Apple Music, but it should. If any song is more deservant of the elusive star, it is this one. Steeped in delta blues, this is a foot stomping, sing-along number that tends to get into all those tiny brain crevices. And they don’t come out. Another good problem to have. May all the songs that fill my head be as infectious and beautiful as Human Condition.
The duo really dives deep into jazz/ Joni Mitchel territory on Shallow Graves (Track 7). This number has a very light, airy, and atmospheric feel to it. Very jazzy and jammy. The subject matter is a little heavier than the music, which adds a lot of interest and a good paradox. This is a very poignant song about the health of society and the diagnosis is not a good one. We are digging our own shallow graves. There is still time to right the ship.
Luckily, there is one number that is so dense with energy is crackles. That song would be the red hot Dingle Town (Track 9). This song is the embodiment of irreverent rock and roll and the punk rock blue print. It has as much aggression as any great rock anthem, but it is still played flawlessly. If you have an aversion to repetition, this is not the song for you since it begs to played over and over.
Good things often do come in small packages and in this case, you will get about five musicians for the price of two. This guy and gal know how to get maximum noise and sound out of just two people. In other words, Hymn for Her rocks and this album proves the rule.