Album Review: In Line with the Broken-Hearted by The Blueflowers
There is not a single note out of place or out of tune on The Blueflowers’ latest album. There’s nary a hand clap out of synch with its companions; there’s not a trace of feedback from the perfectly toned guitar tracks. Even the egg shaker’s occasional cameos rattle in perfect time, without so much as a quaver of dissent among its enclosed beads.
Perfectionists rejoice. But the rest of us may not be quite as easily smitten.
In Line with the Broken Hearted, the band’s second release, is not for the adventurous. Listen to any one of the tracks. If you like it, you’ll like all the others—guaranteed. Adjectives like haunting, ethereal, and dark apply to every track, save perhaps the Buddy Holly-reminiscent song “Maybe,” which despite its happy overtones still matches the theme of longing found throughout the album. There’s a romantic wistfulness that ambles through the songs, a rainy-night vibe that finds beauty in despair.
It may be the prettiest album I’ve heard all year. There’s no denying the impressive range, intonation, and vibrato behind singer Kate Hinote’s voice. She’s got a set of pipes, and she knows how to use them. She sings like a female Chris Isaak, and the band follows suit. The Blueflowers’ co-founder and co-writer, guitarist Tony Hamera, plays reverb-laden leads that build up to melancholy drifts at the songs’ pivotal points.
The album is a wind-swept whirl of Americana, seeking the dreamiest notes from decades past. It’s Blue Velvet by way of Lilith Fair. Some may find the album a little too pretty, its production a little too spotless. Still, the Blueflowers are already a solid, well-rehearsed bunch, and with the time and dedication they obviously put into their recordings, the band is far from reaching their creative peak.
The Blueflowers play Saturday, September 24, at Goodnight Gracie’s in Ann Arbor. Listen to and download their album here.