So far today I’ve cleaned the house, gotten [mostly] caught up on emails, and have drunk all of the water that my Fitbit has demanded of me. Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good and pretty accomplished so, to celebrate, I decided I would blindly reach into my pile of albums to review, pull one out, and let it rip. That’s how I landing on ‘Find Me Out’ by Spanking Charlene. Although I know nothing about Spanking Charlene, being that this is an album put out by Rum Bar Records says everything I need to know. I may not know exactly what I’m going to get when I push play on this album but I know it won’t let me down.
The bluesy guitar that kicks off ” Find Me Out” absolutely set the tone for this album. As soon as Charlene McPherson’s voice came in, I was transported back to a world where live music was still a thing, and going into bars with live music was just part of my life. Although Charlene’s voice commands you to listen, there’s something super laid back about this opening track that instantly put me back into one of the local bar & grills catching whoever is on the stage at that time with bright eyes and a bushy tail.
As soon as “I Don’t Wanna Go There” started playing in my house, it was clear that Charlene’s voice is going to be the star of this entire album. In this song alone, her voice goes from an almost sultry sound to something a bit more poppy all the way to something a bit more tongue-in-cheek. Although the instrumentation is solid throughout this track, it’s Charlene’s voice that owned my ears. Even when her voice takes a turn for the darker side on “Sugar Love” and the bass line becomes a bit more prominent, I still found my ears solely searching for the vocals on this track. I love the almost creepy vibe of this track and it became a favorite of mine within the first minute.
Things amp up a bit for “Burn It Down” and I was instantly reminded of the song “Want Somebody to Love” by Jefferson Airplane. From the vocal styling to the instrumentation to the all-around vibe of this track, everything about it matches bands of days gone by like Jefferson Airplane. Even as the album moved onto “Circles”, I was still getting a strong old-school vibe from the song only this time it was more in the form of Joan Jett. Although Charlene has a very distinct style and vibe to her voice, there are definitely different influences that can be heard loud and clear with each track.
“Can’t Let You Go” slows things down and brings an almost jazzy beat to the album that I wasn’t quite expecting but welcomed with open ears. Although my ears were still stuck on Charlene’s voices, the perfection of the instrumentation and the way that none of the instruments tried to compete with Charlene’s voice definitely caught my eas as well. Just when I was getting lost in the ambiance of “Can’t Let You Go”, “Too Broke To Go Out” slammed me back to reality and instantly became a favorite of mine within the first few seconds. This anthemic and powerful rock song is fun, boppy, and, well, just fun!
“Got Me A Runner” keeps the beat at a lively pace but has a completely different feeling than “Too Broke To Go Out”. The anthemic vibe of the previous track seems to be replaced with something a bit more retro on “Got Me A Runner”. I feel like these two songs show both sides of Spanking Charlene. The timeless retro sound and then the more anthemic and modern rock sound. That retro vibe is only magnified for “Whiplash”. Although it feels old-school, there’s something super timeless about this track. It’s almost the perfect song for a montage scene in a remake of an 80’s movie. Yes, read that again, listen to the song, and then tell me I’m wrong or you don’t understand what I’m saying. It’s just too perfect and, with so many old 80’s movies being remade these days, I really hope this song is put into one of them because it would be dead on.
“Liar Liar” ends this album with the perfect balance of Spanking Charlene and sass. There’s a swagger in this song that seems to end this album with a giant exclamation point. The only thing I wish this album had was more of the sass found in this final song. I wish I would have gotten that a bit more often throughout this album but, all in all, this album is a great and easy listen that is sure to put you in a great mood.
My Favorite Track(s): “Sugar Love”; “Too Broke To Go Out”
For Fans Of: Retro Sounds; Old School Vibes
Dance-ability: 5 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept under my feet; Autumn was nowhere to be found (so probably sleeping upstairs)
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 4 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 5.2 out of 10
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