HONEYHONEY

First Rodeo

2008-12-31

A variety of influences characterize the first full-length release from the California based honeyhoney - including folk, rock, jazz, and a mixture of alternative country. Made up of guitarist Ben Jaffe and vocalist Suzanne Santo, the duo showcases their unique collaboration in a variety of ways. For one, they co-produced this album with Jude Cole and in some form or another, wrote all of the the songs. Additionally, while Jaffe sticks primarily to guitars and percussion, the multi-talented Santo (who's also an actress by the way) does more than just sing - she plays violin, guitar and banjo throughout the recording as well. From such a diverse talent pool, one would expect a unique set of songs and that's basically what you get here. The album kicks off with a mostly mellow and yet catchy song "Black Crows." Here, Santo showcases her banjo as well as her vocals as she sings, "Some days are better than most / Nobody comes and nobody goes." Another really good track is the single, "Little Toy gun." Perhaps the most mainstream, the song is probably the closest thing to a rock song that you'll find on this album as it makes you want to dance or at least tap your toes. A song that delves into the alternative country genre is the beautifully written "Come on Home." The track starts and ends slow but picks up the tempo midway through as it builds layer upon layer. Perhaps the best song here, though, is "Not For Long." Here, percussion instruments take the forefront and gradually build whileSanto's voice beautifully proclaims, "And maybe you won't miss me when I'm gone / I need you when I can't keep moving on." Overall, honeyhoney as produced a recording that is really well done. While some of it may seem a little somber at times, the beautifully crafted songs and their accompanying melodies seem to make up for it. Let's just hope this "First Rodeo," isn't their last. ~ Reviewed by Jeff Bouma

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