Saturday, May 17, 2014

Jessica Lee Mayfield

Jessica Lee Mayfield's 2011 album Tell Me remains one of my favorite albums of the past decade, so I was excited to hear her follow up, Make My Head Sing. Unfortunately, she's ditched producer Dan Auerbach, opting to self-produce this one. The difference shows. There was a warmth and complexity to the production on Tell Me, which added weight to Mayfield's airy vocals and nicely balanced her rock, country, and folk influences.

Make My Head Sing has strong songs, but too often they get lost in the production. Songs like "Oblivious" "Pure Stuff," and "Anything You Want" work the best. They are grounded in chunky, grungy guitars, and sound like she's being backed by the surviving members of Nirvana. It's the quieter songs that suffer the most from Auerbach's absence. As a result, Make My Head Sing is not a bad album, but it's also not as amazing as Tell Me.

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