To my dismay...

First three adjectives that come to mind when listening to this album:

Three favorite songs on album:
Los Angeles
My Tears Are Wasted On You

I'll admit it. I generally don't venture into the genre known as "country." I'm not sure what it is...maybe it's the twang, the cheating banter, the cowboy hats, the trucks...all of it puts me off. Being from the South, I'm completely aware that this is a faux pas. Regardless of that fact, I've managed to grow up avoiding most artists, groups and songs that even slightly resemble country music...until now.

Roomful of Smoke by Leslie and the Badgers detains me. It's the perfect crossbreed of eclectic genres ranging from country/Americana to indie/rock. It's full-flavored, lighthearted, candid, and melancholy all at once. Singer Leslie Stevens' vocal tone draws comparisons to the likes of Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton, yet unlike those two, you can imagine her sitting next to you in the neighborhood bar. The lyrics on the album are flushed with a delicate candor, which makes for an effective balance between sound and words.

Overall, this album is, much to my dismay, stunning.

Album design:
Pleasing and consistent without being over the top, the album design touches on the country/Americana flare with the rope font used for the words "Leslie and the Badgers."

My only complaint (as usual) is the lack of lyrics in the liner notes.

Next Up:
Christina Aguilera, Bionic (2010)