Movie Star Handsome

All The Real Girls

Independent release, 2020

http://www.alltherealgirlsmusic.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/06/2020

Yet another fantastic outfit from the always-thriving Seattle scene, All The Real Girls bring in a small army of musicians on this exciting album, where horns, harmonicas, accordions and cello are just a few of the tools used to flesh out their 'countrygaze' formula.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The charming record leads with the galloping fun of the country-influenced “Rob Me Blind,” where swirling guitars and dusty melodies make for a stunning opening, and “Shows What I Knew” follows with a rugged approach to Americana that's certainly not short on rhythm and harmony.

The Side A highlight, “Movie Star Handsome,” then brings slide guitar in for a bouncy and reflective rock'n'roll moment, and “Wolves” finishes the first half heavy on keys, and with a darker quality of timelessness we tend to associate with legends like Conor Oberst.

Side B is just as great, and leads with the upbeat and glorious “Empty Glass Of Ice,” where strategic pedal steel and a snappy atmosphere could turn even the most diehard punk into a cowboy, while the lush folk-rock of the breezy “Hometown Hero” will have you digging out your Jayhawks records. “Brother Brian,” the best of the best here, then moves with rural rock fun where saxophones and  trumpets ensure a great time, and “Your Favorite Songs” exits the listen initially soft but builds quickly into a shuffling pace of rootsy indie-rock that would be a perfect companion to The Weakerthans' Left And Leaving.

If there's a better record that's been released this year, then I haven't heard it. With strong storytelling, eloquent and extremely memorable songwriting, and an innovative approach to indie-rock, let's put Movie Star Handsome on a level with The Decemberists' The King Is Dead as perfection from the Pacific Northwest. Yes, this is that good and gets better with each listen.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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