Maybe it’s not entirely “the season of the witch,” as Anna Waronker sings in “Nothing Personal,” but it’s not exactly That Dog, either. Though the prodigious Haden sisters are gone along with their deliriously sweet harmonies, Waronker has crafted an incredibly strong solo debut from many of the same ingredients that made her old band’s music so infectious. Cellos and violins still add occasional accents, while Waronker layers the choruses with rich blends of her own harmonies. Her guitars are harder and her songwriting spicier, but the album deftly balances beauty (“Beautiful”) and blister (“All for You”).
The intoxicating chorus of “A Hollow Daze” channels That Dog with glorious clarity, while the jangling “I Wish You Well” boasts the best lyric: “What made me think I could survive all the wear and tear? It’s not my thing to stand here and pose for some William Tell.” That combination of emotional honesty and clever wordplay makes this a true summer album you’ll be loving all year long.
Anna Waronker video flashback: