A concept album of sorts as Peeples interprets songs written by women with a band of all men, by design, playing them. This is to mark the 100th Anniversary of women fighting for and gaining the right to vote in the USA and “was made in recognition of the courage and fortitude of those brave women, as well as the continuing struggle for women’s equal protections under the law.” An undeniably admirable concept and indeed starting point for a piece of work.
The songs are all different but cut from the cloth of roots Americana – Carrie Elkin, Telisha Williams, Caroline Spence and more; and Peeples renders each one in his pared-back , stately style – all strummed guitar and half-spoken vocals and herein lies the problem. All of the songs, despite their disparate styles and writers, are all refracted through the Grant Peeples filter and rendered not only indistinguishable from each other but also rather colourless as they plod towards their conclusions. The processional slow pace of the whole album is not atmospheric just enervating.
‘Keep Trying’ is a highlight thanks to some lovely splashes of colour but it is too little and perhaps too late as this is track 8 and some listeners may not have got this far. If Grant Peeples is your thing you will love this record if not approach with patience.
Perhaps an opportunity missed given the admirable intentions.