February 17, 2003

Second Story Man "Pins & Needles"

Sometimes a band can make complex sounds and melodies look quite simple. I've been sitting here listening to Second Story Man's debut album, Pins and Needles, for the past day and a half, and I've been struck by how utterly enjoyable their album is. I've been at a loss for words, but I'm really not too upset about that, because sometimes you don't want to overanalyze a good thing.

At times, Second Story Man are all jingle-jangle folk-pop; other times, they're silently serious, but all around, they're a listening pleasure. The lovely singing voices of Carrie Neumayer and Kelly Scullin are certainly Second Story Man's strong point, whether they are in harmony on a soft ballad, such as "What A Find," or taking the lead on their own, like the sad but pretty "You You You". When tempered with boy vocals, such as the lovely "Streets and Shadows" and "Luck," their great sound gets better. At times, Second Story Man remind me of Ida; other times, they remind me of Liquorice. Mainly, though, Second Story Man's sound is all their own.

Do you want to know what I think the best part of Pins & Needles is? That this really great debut album will be followed (hopefully, mind you) by even better music. I have yet to find one single fault with Pins and Needles, and that, my friend, is a really rare feat. They received a grant from The Kentucky Foundation for Women to record Pins and Needles, and it's great to see good art receive such funding. A thank you note should be written to this organization, because they couldn't have found a better band to support. Keep up the good work, and thank you for making a great record!

--Joseph Kyle

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