released August 31st, 2010
from the album - Please Speak Well Of Me
from all music
Singer/songwriters Deb Talan and Steve Tannen, both of whom had released solo material before banding together to form folk-pop duo the Weepies, first met at one of Tannen's shows in Cambridge, MA. At the time, Tannen was touring in support of his debut record, Big Señorita. Mutual admirers of each other's music, the two musicians started writing songs together, and soon the Weepies' whimsical, acoustic-based sound took shape. The pair released an independent album, 2003's Happiness, before signing with Nettwerk Records in 2005. That December, the label digitally pre-released Say I Am You, which the duo had recorded in a rented cottage in Pasadena, CA, and the physical album version followed in March 2006.
After spending the rest of that year on the road, Talan and Tannen returned to California and spent the entirety of 2007 in a flurry of activity: they got married, worked on new material, wrote songs for Mandy Moore's Wild Hope, and had a baby. The following year saw the release of their new record, Hideaway. The duo hardly toured at all in support of Hideway, preferring instead to focus on raising their new son, but a flurry of TV placements and commercial advertisements kept their music in the public eye. Meanwhile, Talan and Tannen continued writing music together, and Be My Thrill was released in 2010.
Like an earthier version of Sixpence None the Richer, the Weepies brew up a sound that’s part Lilith Fair throwback, part coffeehouse folk, and part NPR-approved pop. Be My Thrill, the duo’s third album, continues the same thread the Weepies have been spinning since their 2003 debut, with acoustic guitars and light boy/girl harmonies taking most of the spotlight. Deb Talan and Steve Tannen sing these songs like they’re performing for their 2 year-old son; their voices are soft and casual, their melodies whimsical, the arrangements tight and textured but rarely, if ever, overpowering. The song titles alone give away the album’s cheery vibe — “I Was Made For Sunny Days,” “Be My Thrill,” “Be My Honeypie” — and even the titles that sound like sad ballads (“Hard to Please,” “They’re in Love, Where Am I?”) are played with all the sunny cheer of a CW network TV soundtrack. There are drums here, but they share their time-keeping duties with tambourines, hand claps, and other light percussion; there are electric guitars, too, but they never take the spotlight. Instead, the focus is on homespun material, the sort of folk/pop fare that could be played on acoustic instruments around a campfire, and those who liked the Weepies’ past albums will find more to enjoy here.
1 Please Speak Well of Me Talan, Tannen 2:34
2 When You Go Away Talan, Tannen 2:19
3 Red Red Rose Talan, Tannen 2:50
4 I Was Made for Sunny Days Talan, Tannen 3:13
5 They're in Love, Where Am I? Talan, Tannen 2:23
6 Add My Effort Talan, Tannen 3:12
7 Be My Thrill Talan, Tannen 2:29
8 Be My Honeypie Talan, Tannen 2:10
9 Hummingbird Talan, Tannen 2:45
10 Hard to Please Talan, Tannen 4:12
11 Not a Lullaby Talan, Tannen 2:37
12 How Do You Get High? Talan, Tannen 2:36
13 Hope Tomorrow Talan, Tannen 1:59
14 Empty Your Hands Talan, Tannen 3:09