Editorial, Rock

I Kind of Like It: “Twentytwo” | Sunflower Bean

Twentytwo in Blue is comfort food for my soul, an album so difficult for me to dislike and so easy for me to listen to that I can keep playing the album non-stop and never feel tired of it. For my listening pleasure, that’s great. For a blog about specific songs, it’s not so great. It’s hard to talk about one song from Sunflower Bean’s sophomore album without talking about the rest. So, without further delay, let’s talk about the album as a whole before I recommend any specific song.

Their album is a clear love letter to rock music of the past but how far in the past really depends on the song. Most of the time, Sunflower Bean resembles Fleetwood Mac but occasionally jumps to garage rock and more modern sounds. I don’t use the connection to Fleetwood Mac lightly. “I Was a Fool” feels designed to have Stevie Nicks interrupt the lyrics and talk about how thunder only happens when it’s raining. Fortunately, I actually quite like Fleetwood Mac.

My pick from Sunflower Bean is is the partial album title song of “Twentytwo.” Lead vocalist Julia Cumming definitely knows her strengths in singing and plays the role of innocence breaking into adulthood flawlessly. It’s a slow paced song that feels like something you’d play to cool down after a great time running around with friends. And as the rest of the album, the song acts as a time capsule of music. This time, it comes noticeable with the guitar, which gives a strong “Layla” and Eric Clapton vibe. It’s a pleasant song that puts me at ease.

It’s easy to get what Sunflower Bean is doing, but it may be equally as hard to fully recommend them. We’re in an age where so much music comes out and we have to decide whether or not innovation and risk will always top quality and stasis, and Sunflower Bean’s records definitely are the epitome of the latter. This will end up being up to the tastes of the listener and their own habits. For me, the album, as a whole, is an incredibly satisfying experience that ends before I can get tired of it. The lyrics are nice, the singing is great, and the package is refined. It’s fun.

Not your cup of tea? Try this:

If you don’t want the creeping sensation of Stevie Nicks waiting for her queue, try “Puppet Strings.” This song is far more The Black Keys than anything else.

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