The fact that Lake Street Dive bassist, singer and songwriter Bridget Kearney’s initial solo album has arrived so quickly on the heels of her band’s rapid ascent to success suggests that stardom may be imminent, both for her as well as the band. As its title tends to suggest, Kearney adheres to a somewhat orthodox approach, one that emphasizes accessible melodies and an overall sound that shows a preference for a pure pop motif. Unlike the music she makes at her day job, three’s no tendency to bend the boundaries or strongly tug at the parameters. Rather, Won’t Let You Down is an album that proposes nothing more than offering a set of shimmering melodies and tunes that are decidedly gorgeous and giddy all at the same time.
Fortunately, Kearney is wise enough to know that even with a traditional template it’s important to add a few unexpected elements to entice the interest. Consequently, there’s the high pitched wail she tosses in at the end of the refrain that accompanies “Daniel,” a certain crescendo added to the choruses of the title track, and the spunk and spark that help define “Serendipity.” It’s those tasty little hooks that make the music shine, and, in turn, make the music so memorable, albeit in ways that are both subtle and selective.
Ultimately, Kearney’s confidence is her greatest asset. Whether it’s through the drive and dynamic of the album’s more uptempo tunes or in the easy sway given the slower songs, all the sounds pull together in what appears to be an almost effortless sort of way. Nothing seems forced or complicated, and even an occasionally snaky rhythm — as found in the opening bars of “Nothing Does It” — gives way to a smoother stretch once the song works its way forward. Credit Kearney with delivering on her promise, via an album that offers up instant appeal.