Back in June, I reviewed the new self-titled release from Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters. While I thought it was a pretty decent record with some standout songs, there was one major problem. It was mid-tempo and somber all the way through, and I made the comment that it would sound better in October, even advising people to only listen to specific songs at the time. It’s a release that, while I could see its potential, wasn’t right for June. There’s a certain mood around it, started with the opening song where Amanda Platt sings about the days getting colder and fall setting in, that just didn’t work in the summer.
So I did what I advised everyone else to do; I waited until the fall to listen to it again. I’ve revisited some songs, but I waited till now to really absorb the entire album again. And if you’re wondering why it’s November and not October, well, when it’s still 90 degrees in Oklahoma in October, there’s not really a fall atmosphere. But now autumn has finally found its way here, at least for the moment, and just as those colder days are better suited for pumpkin and vanilla candles than for island scents, they also bring about different atmospheres for music. Artists tend to release more serious music during this time, and indeed, my initial sentiment was that this record should have come out right about now.
So after listening to it again? This album is definitely better this time of year. There were quite a few little details I missed in the songwriting the first few times around that I absorbed now because frankly, I wasn’t nearly as bored. The mid-tempo songs throughout the record dragged this album down in June, but they just serve to make this relaxing now. Amanda Anne Platt remains one of the better vocalists in independent music, a fact I noted when I reviewed this, but more careful listening also reveals her talent as a songwriter and melodic composer. The mood is more introspective than somber as you start to really absorb the lyrics, and some of these songs are even quite joyous. The thing is, even when she’s content, on songs like “Rare Thing” and “Birthday Song,” the atmosphere created by the production still seems a bit melancholy. But Amanda Platt is actually content for much of this record, a fact you begin to uncover as you dig deeper into the lyrics. Actually, “Rare Thing” is one I underappreciated the first time, probably because it is toward the end of the record and started blending in to all the other mid-tempo stuff. But it’s a good example of a song that really stood out in a different way for me this time around.
This has pretty much gone from a decent, but kind of boring record at times to a rather pleasant, relaxing listen. It wasn’t right in the summer, but now, it’s working pretty well. Had it come out now it would have gotten a light 8 from me instead of the hesitant 7 it received back in June. So, if you’re someone who listens to different types of music based on their mood and gravitates toward different sounds in different seasons, I invite you to revisit this. If you found this boring or lacking energy the first time, well, it still doesn’t have a ton of energy, but it’s far from boring. You just need the right atmosphere and frame of mind to appreciate it.
P.S. “Eden” and “The Guitar Case” are still fantastic songs.