I owe Those Darlins a big apology. I’ve been sitting on their self-titled debut for a month now, even though I knew from the first two songs (“Red Light Love” and “Wild One”) that I’d be reviewing this three-chicks-and-a-guy band from Tennessee.
Are Kelley Darlin, Jessi Darlin and Nikki Darlin really sisters? I doubt it. Think of them as the hipster country chick version of the Ramones. The album is stellar country/pop with witty lyrics and noticeable punk undertones. It’s an exciting ride from track to track, without a loser in the bunch.
There are so many nice moments on the album that it is hard to pick only a few to write about. There’s the loving, sweet song “Mama’s Heart,” in which the singer tells a courter that “there’s nothing I won’t do to keep my mama from feeling blue” and “when you break my mama’s heart, you’re also breakin’ mine.” Sort of a country version of Tupac’s “Dear Mama.” For those who prefer sexy lyrics, the album’s single, “Wild One,” slyly brags, “I may be the sweetheart you’ve dreamed of all your life/Just ’cause I’m sweet don’t mean I’m always nice.”) And then there’s the hilarious “Snaggle Tooth Mama.”
A joyous ride of western swing, great vocals, and tight songwriting, Those Darlins have released one of the best debuts of th year.