Over and Even

Album Review of Over and Even by Joan Shelley.

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Over and Even

Joan Shelley

Over and Even by Joan Shelley

Release Date: Sep 4, 2015
Record label: No Quarter
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

80 Music Critic Score
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Over and Even - Very Good, Based on 5 Critics

Rolling Stone - 80
Based on rating 4/5

"It's a subtle kind of love/It's a simple kind of glory," declares Joan Shelley, in her incandescent alto, at the close of the Louisville, Kentucky singer's third solo LP. Subtlety and simplicity also define this set of acoustic songs. But like the verse, the terms understate the power and beauty of the subject at hand. A commanding poet, Shelley populates her songs with elements unmoored by time: fog, forests, beds, "a mother's wet tongue," the scent of coffee and sweat, the taste of honey and wine.

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AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10

The third solo outing from the spell-casting Kentucky songstress, Over and Even is a breezy, lyrically bold, sonically beautiful soft barrage of bucolic country-folk that evokes Linda Thompson, Joni Mitchell, Vashti Bunyan, and Hem. It would be easy to peg Shelley and crafty six-string co-conspirator Nathan Salsburg as the Bluegrass State's answer to Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, but they lack that duos' trad-folk stridency and penchant for dust bowl pageantry, and their particular brand of mountain music feels much more rooted in the immigrant-rich Appalachian traditions, where a misty morning is just as likely to invoke fog rising over the Shannon or the Thames as it is the Mississippi. Recorded in an old farmhouse with very few takes, the 12-track set feels rooted but not rootsy.

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Pitchfork - 78
Based on rating 7.8/10

During the final verse of "Over and Even", Joan Shelley discovers the ceiling of her evocative voice and dares to test it. The title track of the Kentucky singer-songwriter’s beguiling third album, "Over and Even" is a gentle canter. Cymbals splash idly against a steady electric guitar, and a banjo babbles in the distance, as though it soon hopes to join Shelley’s fireside chat.

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Los Angeles Times
Their review was positive

Joan Shelley, "Over and Even" (No Quarter). As strikingly well crafted as a Shaker cabinet, the new album from the Louisville, Ky.-based singer and songwriter is built with well-honed materials: electric and acoustic guitar, accordion, piano, banjo, tambourine, glockenspiel, violin and voices both solo and in delicate harmony. Suggesting the handmade work of the British folk band Fairport Convention and the rural music of the American South, "Over and Even" seems simple by design, but each song is accented with striking detail.

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Dusted Magazine
Their review was generally favourable

Joan Shelley — Over and Even (No Quarter)<a href="http://joanshelley. bandcamp. com/album/over-and-even">Over and Even by Joan Shelley</a>Joan Shelley’s songs have a pared-down grace, their simple, symmetrical melodies burnished but without frills.

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