Samantha Crain: You (Understood)

Music  |  Reviews
Samantha Crain: <em>You (Understood)</em>

Unbalanced memories

On her sophomore full-length release, Oklahoma-based singer/songwriter Samantha Crain takes an 11-song glance over her young shoulder, each track the result of an interaction with a particular person, time and place. Not surprisingly, You (Understood) isn’t exactly cohesive, scurrying from the wistful bounce of “Blueprints” to fuzzed-out guitars on broken-heart anthem “Two-Sidedness,” but Crain more than compensates through sheer earnestness. Like a prairie-bred, meat-and-potatoes Joanna Newsom, Crain’s vocals are quivering, emotive and visceral. They shine when layered over the sparse beauty of “We Are the Same,” but fall a bit short when fighting through the guitar licks and wonky time signatures of “Toothpicks.”

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