THE BABIES play the Silver Dollar on Friday (November 16). See listing. Rating: NNN
The Babies started as a self-described side project, a chance for Kevin Morby of Woods and Cassie Ramone of the Vivian Girls to "trade song ideas and play house parties." On their second album, they're selling the Babies as a real band, with all that comes with it: fleshed-out production, a full touring schedule and more focused songs.
That's not necessarily a positive thing. Both the Vivian Girls and Woods operate on a lo-fi "tossed-off" aesthetic that's alluring in its spontaneity, if alienating to audiophiles. Our House On The Hill retains some of that naïveté - the Ramone-sung Baby, for instance, draws from the same 60s girl-group mould as most Vivian Girls songs. But many of Morby's tunes sacrifice his twangy, down-home warmth. Luckily, both still write simple, timeless hooks.
Top track: See The Country