Indigo Girls

Indigo Girls

Come On Now Social

Epic

Come On Now Social ‘s opening track, “Go,” may be something of a shock to those expecting the Indigo Girls of old. It’s their hardest-edge, hardest rocking song to date, with a great bridge and their trademark terrific harmonies. It also proves to be the best showcase for duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers on an otherwise somewhat lackluster disc.

A plethora of high profile guests and a few new musical colorations can’t rescue more conventional (but uncharacteristically bland) folky Indigos fare like Saliers’ “Soon Be to Nothing” and “Trouble.” Similarly, “We Are Together” sounds like something they’ve done better previously. The highlights of Saliers’ contributions are “Peace Tonight,” which sounds like a 10,000 Maniacs track circa Our Time in Eden (complete with horn section…), and “Cold Beer and Remote Control” with guest Sheryl Crow, which sounds like, well, a Sheryl Crow song.

Rick Danko and Garth Hudson of the Band pop up on Ray’s rustic, catchy banjo-and-mandolin-driven “Gone Again.” The hypnotic banjo groove (three words you don’t hear together often) of “Ozilline” is a highlight of Ray’s songwriting offerings.

But too many of the songs here are either pretty but dull (in the case of Saliers) or dark but dull (in Ray’s case), and too rarely hit the highs of the literary acoustic folk that was their stock-in-trade early in their now more than decade long career.

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