Review: What Laura Says – Thinks and Feels

What Laura Says - Thinks and FeelsWhat Laura Says
Thinks and Feels
Terpsikshore Records, 2008

What Laura Says opens their second release with a collection, of sorts, of musical styles: “Couldn’t Lose Myself If I Tried” opens with a gentle folk-inflected tune before it transitions (with a door knock, of all things) into an a capella medley, then making a segue into a Ben Folds Five-style piano-romp, complete with the group’s trademark vocal harmonies.

Thankfully, What Laura Says doesn’t keep up this strange method for long, opting to not make such bold breaks in style mid-song but still keeping the music convincingly engaging. “Fashionably Moral,” dark Western mood and all, bursts with acoustic energy midway through the song before settling down again, and the following track, “Illustrated Manual” marks another appearance of some nice piano-based pop — it’s clear that What Laura Says either get bored with a single style of music rather quickly, or they simply wish to showcase a bit of diversity in the music.

What Laura Says – “July 23” | download

If it’s the former, the latter is still true: There is a certain element of diversity here that’s very hard to ignore. Alongside that diversity, serving to create a more complete package, is a skillful use of vocal harmony to provide layers of depth (see “Wish I Could Fly,” in which the vocals serve instrumentally both as added percussion and a melodic device.)

What Laura says continue their diverse display throughout: “Dot Dot Dot” involves a well-managed duo of acoustic guitars showcasing some beautiful melodic strain against soft, harmonizing vocals.

Even if What Laura Says aren’t the most consistent in style, they are fairly consistent in quality — and they do deliver interesting song after interesting song, rarely faltering from their pursuits. All told, Thinks and Feels is a solid release, but finding a common thread throughout proves a little difficult.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.