Honey Honey: First Rodeo

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Don’t be fooled by honeyhoney’s moniker. The debut album from this duo, composed of Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe, is anything but saccharine and repetitive. It begins with Santo’s beautiful voice singing slow a cappella, usually an indication of a soulful ballad, before the band jumps in and turns the song (“Black Birds”) into a mid-tempo jazzy tune. It is the first of many pleasant surprises. From the acoustic ballad “Bouncing Ball” to the Appalachian jam of “Come on Home,” honeyhoney deftly mixes elements of folk, soul, country, pop and rock without anything ever sounding forced.

 

 The spanish-sounding “Little Toy Gun” is the lead single, but the best songs are the folky “Sugarcane” and the clogging southern rock of “Give Yourself to Me.” Throughout all of the experimentation, there is always a cohesive element to the tracks.

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