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Boasting a mere seven songs, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten's sophomore effort hardly lives up to the lofty promise of its name, but where Epic fails to deliver in size, it more than makes up for in sound. Van Etten possesses one of those rare voices that can make even the weakest material soar, so the decision to open the album with the perfectly serviceable, yet ultimately forgettable, solo heartbreak rant A Crime makes sense, as what follows is simply electrifying. Backed by a full traditional rock band and bolstered by weepy lap steels and harmoniums, Van Etten's full serpentine croon, which falls somewhere between Kristin Hersh, Neko Case, and Brandi Carlile, addresses the usual subjects of failure and longing, but theres a strange, dark confidence behind all of the self-examination that makes even the most cliched confessional singer/songwriter utterance feel dangerous. ALL MUSIC GUIDE

Tracklisting

  1. A Crime
  2. Peace Signs
  3. Save Yourself
  4. DSharpG
  5. Don't Do It
  6. One Day
  7. Love More