The Weepies, Be My Thrill
Enveloping warmth and contentment from sweet folk-rock anthem makers
Sometimes you want to hear the big rock gesture, the effort and the angst of anthems addressing the era's recession, depression and fear. And sometimes you just want a hug. Not a double-backslap bro' hug, but something warm and sincere. That's when it's time for the Weepies.
Singer-songwriters Deb Talan and Steve Tannen quickly became partners — both in music and in life — after meeting at a Cambridge, Mass., club in 2001. Now based in the folk-friendly L.A. enclave Topanga Canyon, Talan and Tannen took four years off the road to have some kids and write some songs. The music on Be My Thrill evokes the best '60s and '70s radio hits: "I Was Made for Sunny Days," might have grown from a hybrid seed created from the Mamas and Papas and Stevie Wonder. "When You Go Away" recalls Chicago without the horns, but with that band's knack for mass-appeal pop songs. On the ebullient title song and the bracing "How Do You Get High," the voices blend like a sweeter version of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. The segue from "Be My Thrill" to "Be My Honeypie" may be a bit too cute, but their pretty rarely gets sappy. On "Hummingbird," Talan handles the quick twists of melody like Joni Mitchell driving a Porsche on Pacific Coast Highway; "They're in Love, Where Am I?" could be from the Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer songbook, a future cabaret standard. But mostly, Be My Thrill offers an enveloping warmth from musicians who convey contentment as not just a fleeting possibility but something attainable and lasting.