The Henry Girls - Louder Than Words
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Louder Than Words (Besete Unterhaltung, 2014)

The Henry Girls

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

Talk about a cultural crossover! The trio that identifies themselves as The Henry Girls makes music with a broad stroke, wrapping their Irish roots in a rich tapestry of Americana influences. The result is a sound that's as soothing and pleasing as any gleaned from either environ. Made up of three sisters - Karen, Lorna and Joleen McLaughlin (they borrow their handle from their grandfather's first name) - The Henry Girls have released five albums to date, but with the majority not readily available for domestic consumption, "Louder Than Words" may... well...speak loudest to those heretofore unawares.

That's not to say The Henry Girls are the type to hammer their message home. On the contrary, "Louder Than Words" is subtle and nuanced, imbued with swelling harmonies, fragile melodies, and songs of quiet persuasion. Give credit to producer Calum Malcolm for the supple arrangements and being able to effectively weave those gentle designs without feeling the need to rely on an overtly precious posture or some sort of wispy repose. Songs such as "James Monroe," "No Matter What You Say" and "Home" maintain their unfettered lilt and flow, while the unblemished delicacy continues to tantalize. Likewise, for all the petite instrumentation, "The Weather" and "So Long But Not Goodbye" still keep to an upbeat attitude, one that relies both on its charm and its discretion.

All this goes to show that even the most supple approach can make an imprint on an audience willing to listen. An understated take on Bruce Springsteen's "Reason to Believe" retains the conviction of the original, but eliminates its gritty determination in favor of the solitary sound. Given the emotional tug that's brought to bear, it - like the other entries offered on "Louder Than Words" - clearly speaks volumes.

CDs by The Henry Girls

Louder Than Words, 2014 December Moon, 2013

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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