CD REVIEW: The Honey V's - In the Garden & Dancing
By Cyrus Rhodes
"Genuine & Priceless"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
The Honey V’s
Genre: Folk - Rock
Sounds Like: Heart, Indigo Girls, Joni Mitchell
Musicianship (Drumming & Percussion), Recording quality of some of the instruments.
Singer songwriting duo (Vicky Reardon & Lili McGovern) from Bellingham, Washington also know as Honey V’s release “In the Garden & Dancing” in the Spring 2010. This is their debut release.
Logging in at just over 46 minutes, the CD kicks things off with “All Good Things” an upbeat intro piece that serves up melodic vocal tandems from Reardon & McGovern that flutter around your ears like a carefree butterfly. Right from the start you can tell this is a vocal driven duo with folksy-type musical overtones. Track 2 “Athena” shifts gears a bit with dynamic musical landscape full of Celtic passion, and acoustical peaks and valleys. “Athena” possesses musical flair reminiscent of early Heart with harmonic accents clearly in the vein of Anne & Nancy Wilson. Track 3 “Don’t Ever Change” is another carefree acoustical statement with solid melodic foundation, & rich conventional wisdom from a female perspective. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the songs are very conservative in nature, & extremely melody driven. The melodies themselves will smother you with honey coated vocal harmonies from Reardon & McGovern, You will also notice brief splashes of percussion, piano, strings, drums, keyboard & Hammond Organ accents layered throughout the production. All in all the CD has its moments, showcasing a lot of passion, spirituality, carefree subject matter, & deep wisdom. The vocal abilities of Reardon & McGovern are impressive. They clearly take there fair share of vocal risks on this production indicating a strong & confident vocal ability. As singers the 2 compliment each other very well. From carefree pieces like “Dancing in Circles”, & “Valentine” to songs possessing rich conventional wisdom like: “Candy”, “What this Town Needs” & “In the Garden Dancing” the CD offers a lot of musical variety. The CD has a few eccentric & funny moments to it as well like on “Vegetarian” am “Ample” with lyrical content that will have you rolling on the floor. The CD ends on a solitary note with “Any Way I Do” a passionate end statement serving up deep spiritual persona, and a passionate harmonic finale.
Despite the positives, this CD is not without a few negatives. The drums don’t sound like they were recorded to industry standard. In fact since were on the subject the actual drumming itself along with some of the percussive elements sound extremely amateurish, & just don’t compliment the music very well. The rhythms stick out like a sore thumb, & the more the Honey V’s drift away from their solitary vocal foundation, the more you will notice things just not sounding right, or out of place. This indicates to me some of the instruments weren't recorded, or mixed properly. I suspect the former. The music however is extremely impressive, but perhaps needing just a tad more musical instrumentation to fill the void. Instruments such as a pedal steel, mandolin, fiddles, viola, stand up bass, cello, piano, banjo, percussion, whirly bells, celeste and even a saw would bring more musical flavor to the catalogue. Some songs are definitely better than others on the catalogue. I don't like the way “Dancing in Circles” fades out, & "Vegetarian” is a bit over the top.
From start to finish “In the Garden & Dancing” is an impressive CD. If this review seems lopsided, it’s merely in sharp contrast to the extremes presented on “In the Garden & Dancing” Its strength is it’s strong melodic vocal structure carefree subject matter, and strong musical spirit. Vocally Reardon & McGovern have proven themselves on this record. I tip my hat to The Honey V’s for letting it all hang out, & just being themselves. These gals are clearly a lot of fun to hang out with, & make no bones about it this duo possesses a musical spirit that is genuine, & priceless. It’s amazing how much vocal energy they possess together. If I could say anything to the Honey V’s right now I would say add a bit more musical flavor to your next musical production. Surround your self with professional players, & engineers that can not only record, mix, play your music properly, but give your fans a world class presentation they so rightfully deserve. Do this and your next CD will no doubt be a grand slam. I look forward to hearing more music from The Honey V’s very soon. As impressive as “In the Garden & Dancing” is I have a feeling, there best work is still yet to come.
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