In a previous post, I reviewed the debut album by one of my favorite singers, Lenka. Today, I’m talking up her second album, “Two”.
For the most part, the album “Two” is a return to form for Lenka. Most of the songs would fit in perfectly with her debut album.
“Heart Skips A Beat” is a cute love song with an excellent 60s vibe and I’ll bet dollars to donuts was an instant hit with the hipster crowd. It also has an excellent music video that builds on a clever foundation (the classic board game, Operation). View this video at the end of this review.
“Roll With the Punches” joyfully encourages the listener to meet life’s unexpected trials with an overcoming attitude. My sister remarked that the song sounds like The Monkees would sound if they had a female singer. I agree with her totally. That’s a compliment, because I love me some Monkees music. A word of warning for Nathaniel’s parents (you know who you are) and other parents: this song includes the tongue-in-cheek line “but I’ll be d***ed if I ever let you win”. The line doesn’t bother me personally, but I can definitely understand not wanting the kids to hear it or having a pow wow with them about it.
Other excellent songs in the mold of her debut album are “Everything At Once” (which reminds me both lyrically and musically of the nutty band They Might Be Giants), “Sad Song”, and “Everything’s OK”, with a couple of background vocal bits that strike me as similar to something you’d hear in the musicals “Annie” and “Godspell”. I know, that seems weird, but concentrate hard and I’ll bet you’ll come to the same conclusion.
In what seems like a grab for the pop crowd, Lenka offers some slight departures from her trademark sound. Two of these songs work very well. “Shock Me Into Love” is a funky electropopper, but maintains enough “Lenkaish” quality to make it well worth repeated listenings. For some reason, “You will Be Mine” reminds of the song “Missing” by Everything But The Girl. It doesn’t really sound like it, so I don’t really know why, except to say that it just has a laid back “move-along” vibe to it.
Unfortunately, the title track of the album, “Two”, doesn’t really resonate for me. It might be the the slight blues style of the track, but it’s probably the “owww!” exclamation at 2:04 into the song. It’s just so “non-Lenka” to me. It’s the only song on the album I don’t like. I don’t enjoy writing this exception to my otherwise-glowing review of the album. In fact, I feel a little bit guilty, because of my love for Lenka music.
The Bonus Track version of the album is $2 more than the regular edition, but I find it well worth it, because of the inclusion of the two additional songs: “Wrote Me Out” which is pure typical Lenka, and the so-adorable-it’s-almost-too-much-sweetness-to-handle (but-not-quite) “Maybe I Love You”. Dang, that’s an awesome song.
At the time of this writing, you can purchase from I-Tunes the Bonus Tracks version for $9.99 and the regular edition for $7.99.
Here’s the video for “Heart Skips A Beat” (after a brief advertisement):