Song of the Week 2
It is not often that you find an album with so many songs that you are able to connect to, but Song of the Week 2 is that rare find. The combination of Helen Austin's vocal range and her obvious aptitude for writing songs places her above most other female singer/songwriters in the alternative and folk genres. Austin's soft, serene voice and the way many of her songs center around the subject of love, gives her a style similar to those of Ingrid Michaelson or Missy Higgins.
Song of the Week 2 opens with "I Love It All," a cute ditty about all of the imperfections of a lover. Austin explains, "You need your coffee high before you can open your eyes . . . your socks don't match, and you can't even find a pair . . . but I love it all." "La De Dah" is a feel-good song in every sense of the word. Austin sings about the simplicities of day-to-day life, saying that life is not only about the good times, but it is also is about the bad times. "La de dah, la de dah, here we go" perfectly explains the laid back, trouble-free feeling that this song creates.
One thing that makes Austin's songs so loveable is that everyone is able to relate to them in some way. In "It's Me," for instance, Austin sings, "I look you up online, and I pretend you're mine. I add you to my friends, then wait and see. I'd call you every day, but you've got call display, and you'll know it's me . . . Give me a sign. Tell me I have a chance with you." Whether we'd like to admit it or not, this is something we have all done, or at least thought about, at some point or another, which is what makes this song so humorous.
Song of the Week 2 contains a healthy mix of humorous songs along with more serious, emotional songs such as "Almost," one of the few piano compositions of the album. "Almost" is a song about a woman who is going through the process of marriage in the hopes that it will make her happy. Austin's descriptive lyrics allow the listener to visualize every detail of the process. "They got married on a Tuesday. Wednesday night they just went home. By the time it was the weekend, she knew she'd never be alone."
Austin digs deep into the roots of love, and gets to the truth of the matter instead of using overused, clichéd lyrics to prove her points. In "Bandaid," Austin uses simple objects to explain her role in her lover's life. She sings, "I'm a Bandaid, I'll stick anywhere that you need . . . I'm a vitamin, I make you feel so strong . . . I'm a Vicodin, you can never get enough . . . I'll take care of you."
While each song averages out to be only about three minutes long, the shorter song length is made up for by the amount of songs on the album – there are 17 songs in all. As an artist who has produced all of her music on her own, Austin could fool anyone into thinking that Song of the Week 2 was produced by a top notch record label. Austin is certainly not going anywhere soon, and with a great repertoire such as this, it's hard to predict anything but great things for her future.
Review by Alec Cunningham
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)