The debut solo album from Coco Hames, an American songwriter in a classic 60’s pop vein. As the frontwoman of The Ettes, our Coco knows her way around a tune, but Coco Hames gives her the chance to get really stuck into her personal favourite pop and country influences. Coco Hames is released by Merge.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 28 March 2017
Chiming, 60's influenced pop is the name of the game with this debut from the Ettes front lady. It's very well crafted 'classic pop' with severe nods to Dusty Springfield particularly on 'I Do Love You' which has all the swirling intensity of one of those 60's big ballads. It goes without saying that she can't get through the album without utilising the 'Be My Baby' drumbeat and here it is at it's most obvious. Just a slightly tinny production holds it back from being a near perfect pastiche. Elsewhere we get Best Coast style indie pop rattlers ('I Don't Wanna Go'), the Zombies inflected ballads 'Long Time Coming') and later in the record some Dolly Parton inspired honky tonk country pop ('This House Ain't A Home').
Hames aims high and the problem with aiming high rather than being content with an lo-fi scuzzy treatment is that it's more liable to fall flat on it's face. Hames never fails totally but likewise never quite has the songwriting strokes to pull off something that could live with the records she obviously admires. What we have then is a thoughtful album that is perfectly serviceable and enjoyable.
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