It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact word to describe this generation, musically. We are a generation of auto-tune, of mashups, of synth-pop, and of Lady Gagas. At some point, our music stopped sounding like music and every band, DJ, and pop star started sounding exactly the same. Somehow, San Francisco band, Girls, have found a way to create a sound that is both influenced by the soft-rock of the sixties, while entirely maintaining their own sound. Father, Son, Holy Ghost
has no need for Generation Y technology, Girls have produced an album that is honest and seemingly perfect, and sounds like no one else out there.
There is something enchantingly familiar about the third Girls album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost
. Front man Christopher Owens sings songs you've known your entire life, but just can't figure out where you've heard them. The songs are breezy, heartwarming, and seamlessly lead down a path until you don't know where one song started and the next ended, jumping from one style to the next.
The opener, "Honey Bunny," is backed by grooving drums and winding electric surfy guitars, but never become overpowering with the mellowing of Owens' rusty voice. "Magic" stays in tune with the summery effervescence of "Honey Bunny," playing with Beatles and Lovin' Spoonful influences. "My Ma" is a strangely powerful ode to his mother, a woman who famously raised Owens in the Children of God cult, and was such a staunch believer that she let her other son die, refusing to go against the anti-medicine stance. This is also a woman who prostituted herself in front of him throughout his youth, so when he sings, "I'm looking for meaning in my life, and you my ma" his words go far deeper than simple heartbreak. Owens' melancholic vocals shine underneath stirring instrumentals that are placed at the exact moments you want them.
the songs are deeply affectionate and could easily fall into a cliché, except that Owens emits such a warmth in his vocals that his lyrics, his instruments, and the balance of the album are genuine and entirely his own. "Just A Song" is far from its title, beginning with a beautifully strummed nylon string guitar, and finally unleashing Owens softly singing, "Love, it's just a song," a line that is made all the more captivating by the majestic flutes spinning around him.
While it's hard to find faults with Girls first compilation, Album
, it seems as though Owens takes this one a little more seriously, losing his ironic whiny androgynous vocals, and singing as naturally as possible. The effects of this are colossal; the entire album lies in the strength and warmth of Owens' voice. Girls bring forward a compilation of stunning songs that are familiarly welcoming and will not be easily forgotten.
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MP3: "Honey Bunny"